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This, the 21st volume of the Gaelic Society of Inverness Tran- 
sactions; though a majority volume, is published in the Society's 
28th year of existence. The publication of a yearly volume has 
long been found impossible or impracticable ; and this volume, 
like its two immediate predecessors, contains a year and a half s 
work — from January of 1896 to June of 1897. The volume 
claims to be unique in one respect : it is the largest which the 
Society has yet issued, coming as it does within a few pages of 
the five hundred. Its characteristics otherwise are the same as the 
later volumes of the Society — few general or elementary papers, 
but several papers containing original research or original docu- 
ments. It is not invidious to draw attention to the historical or 
documentary value of the " Bighouse Papers" and the " Gleanings 
from the Cluny Charter Chest;" but it will be seen that the 
Society has not forgotten the other aspects of its work — Highland 
folklore, Gaelic literature in all its phases, Gaelic dialects, and 
local as well as clan history. 

Our death-roll for this volume is heavy, both in number and 
quality. Alexander Mackenzie, well known under the sobriquet 
of the " Clach" (which arose from the name of his first shop in 
Inverness — " Clachnacuddin House"), died on the 22nd January, 
1898. He was one of the most notable men in the Highlands 
for the last generation — Highland politician, editor, and clan 
historian. Born on a croft in Gairloch in 1838, he had little 
opportunity for schooling, and at an early age he had to earn his 
living as navvy, ploughman, and the like. About 1860 he joined 
the Scotch Drapery Trade in England, and soon made his way in 
business. In 1869 he settled in Inverness, first as clothier, 

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developing latterly into editor and publisher of the Celtic Magazine 
and Scottish Highlander. He has left seven clan histories, all 
works of great genealogical value. He was one of the founders of 
the Gaelic Society of Inverness, and took an active part in all its 
proceedings to the last. Sir Henry C. Macandrew, who had held 
the office of Chief of the Society, and who so often acted as 
chairman of its public meetings when the actual chiefs could not 
be present, died on the 26th September of last year ; he was born 
in 1832. Another enthusiastic and energetic member was the late 
Captain Macra Chisholm of Glassburn. Within the last few weeks 
the Highland publishing world has had to mourn the loss of two of 
its most valued heads. Mr Archibald Sinclair of Glasgow, " deagh 
mhac an deagh athar," died on the 1st February, at the early age 
of 48. From his " Celtic Press " have issued many Gaelic publi 
cations during the last thirty years. Mr Robert Livingston, 
manager of the Northern Chronicle, and practically the Society's 
publisher, died suddenly at Edinburgh on the 3rd March, much 
regretted by everyone that knew him. The poetess, Mrs Mary 
Macpherson or " Mairi Nighean Iain Bhain," must also be added 
to our death roll. She was born at Skeabost, in Skye, in 1821, 
and died there in November, 1898, at the ripe age of 77 years. 

In taking our customary glance at Celtic literature, we have 
to record a fair output for the Highlands. Gaelic works are few. 
Surgeon-Colonel John Macgregor has greatly enhanced his poetic 
reputation by his Luinneagan Luaineach (Nutt). Two volumes 
are now published in handy and cheap form of Kev. Mr Macrury's 
racy and accurate translation of the "Arabian Nights" — 
Sgeulachdan Arabianach ("Northern Chronicle"). Dr George 
Henderson has laid the Gaelic world under a great debt of 
obligation to him for his excellent work Leabhar nan Gleann, 
which contain a three leading features : one-third of it consists of 
transliterations from the Fernaig MS. to the extent of half the 
MS., one-half is taken up with a collection of Hebridean poetry, 
and the rest contains an English translation of Prof. Zimmer's 
important paper on " Matriarchy among the Picts." Mr Henry 
Whyte has published, under the title of Leabhar Na Ceilidh, an 


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excellent selection of Gaelic readings and recitations in prose and 
verse. A new edition of Rob Donn's poems, edited by Mr Hew 
Morrison, with a memoir, has given rise to a very lively contro- 
versy as to whether the poet was a Calder or a Mackay. Of 
English works on Highland subjects, we may first mention the 
late Alex. Mackenzie's posthumous "History of the Munros," which 
merits to be placed among his best books. Dr Charles Fraser- 
Mackintosh has published the "Minor Septs of Clan Chattan," 
wherein he shews his usual clan enthusiasm and accuracy of 
research. Mr W. Drummond-Norie has written a most readable 
popular history of Lochaber under the title of " Loyal Lochaber," 
where the legendary element bulks largely. " Inverness County" 
was published last year by the Blackwoods in their County 
Histories series ; Dr Cameron Lees, the author, has done the work 
with his usual literary power. Captain Ellice's " Place-Names of 
Glengarry and Glenquoich " is a very creditable performance, and 
we should like to see more ©f this class of work done ; the last 
similar book was Mr Liddall's "Fife and Kinross Place-Names" 
(1896). Mr E. B. Nicholson, the Bodleian Librarian, spent some 
vacations in Golspie, and the result is an " omnium gatherum " 
work, entitled "Golspie: Contributions to its Folklore," very 
readable, and, save on Pictish inscriptions, reliable. Mr Andrew 
Lang has edited a Spy's Account of the "Highlands in 1750," 
with introduction and notes. It is a useful book, giving a 
valuable if prejudiced report upon the clans and their capacities. 
•Of new editions we may mention Dr Kennedy's "Days of the 
Fathers in Ross-shire," edited by the Revs. J. Noble and J. 
Kennedy; "Leabhar Nan Cnoc," republished largely at the 
expense of that enthusiastic Highlander, Mr John Mackay of 
Hereford ; and Mackay's Collection of Pipe-Music (Logan & Co). 
In regard to periodicals and journals, The Caledonian Medical 
Jowrnal and the Highland News deserve special mention for their 
Gaelic and Highland matter. Mactalla, of Cape Breton Island, 
still continues to be our only purely Gaelic journal. 

Outside Scotland there has been some slackness in book 
publishing, but magazine articles are as numerous as ever. A 

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new periodical has been added to the list, again "made u* 
Germany •" it is called the " Archiv fur Celtische Lexikographie," 
and is edited by Dr Whitley Stokes and Professor Kuno Meyer. 
The "Revue Celtique " and the " Zeitshrift fur Celtische Philologie" 
flourish greatly. The last number of the latter contains an 
article on the Fernaig MS. by Dr C. Ludwig Stern, marked by his 
usual brilliancy. It should be read along with Dr Henderson's 
Leabhar nan Gleann. "The Annals of Tigernach" have been 
published in full by Dr Stokes in the Revue Celtique. Mr Nutt's 
second volume of Bran, the Son of Febal, is published, and "con- 
tains a brilliant discussion on the " Celtic Doctrine of Rebirth."" 
Miss Hull has published with Mr Nutt the whole story of 
Cuchulinn, under the title of the "Cuchulinn Saga" — an 
excellent piece of work. Prof. Macalister has written the first 
part of a work on " Irish Epigraphy," dealing with the Ogams. 
The " Celtic Renaissance " seems to be in abeyance at present - r 
but we had one or two excellent novels dealing with the High- 
lands during the last year. Mr Neil Munro's " John Splendid," 
a novel of the Montrose wars, is written with the true Highland 
spirit ; and the late William Black published at the same time hia 
iC Wild Eelin," the scene of which is laid mostly in Inverness town. 
It is one of Mr Black's best efforts. 

A Pan-Celtic congress was lately held at Dublin, and one of 
the most interesting items brought forward was the distribution 
and number of the Celtic population in Europe. About three and 
a quarter millions speak one Celtic tongue or other. Of these 
Brittany comes first with 1,322,000, of whom 679,700 speak 
Breton only. Then comes Wales with 910,000, of whom as many 
as 508,000 speak nothing but Welsh, leaving 402,000 who speak 
both Welsh and English. Ireland has 680,000 Gaelic-speaking 
people, of whom 38,000 can speak Gaelic only. Scotland comes- 
next with a quarter of a million Gaelic-speaking people, of whom 
42,700 speak Gaelic only. In the Isle of Man from two to three^ 
thousand speak Manx Gaelic. The divisional sections in Scotland 
are very interesting. Most people believe that Gaelic is confined 
to the west and the isles, but (as returned by the census of 1891)* 

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even the eastern and southern counties have a large proportion- 
There are fewest in Galloway, but it is certainly astonishing that 
there are 6000 Gaelic-speaking people in Mid-Lothian, 500 in 
Berwickshire, 100 in Haddingtonshire, 174 in Roxburghshire, and 
800 in Fifeshire ; while between Dundee and Peterhead (leaving 
out Perthshire) there are 6000. Lanarkshire comes out with no 
fewer than 25,000; Inverness-shire, Ross and Cromarty, and 
Argyll come first with respectively 62,000, 56,000, and 42,000. 
The large Celtic Colonial population must be nearly as numerous 
as the European; but no attempt has been made as yet to 
estimate it all. Canada, according to the latest estimate, has a 
quarter of a million of its inhabitants capable of speaking Gaelic. 

In the preface to our last volume we stated that the Scotch 
Code recognised Gaelic in four different ways : — (1) The children'^ 
intelligence might be tested in Gaelic, and Gaelic might be taught 
for this purpose during Government hours ; (2) an extra Gaelic- 
speaking P.T. could be employed for bilingual instruction, and a 
shilling extra of grant would then be paid on the average attendance, 
such P.T. also receiving a grant like any other P.T.; (3) Gaelic 
might be taken as a specific subject; and (4) Gaelic-speaking 
P.T.'s might receive additional— as many as for Latin and Greek 
— marks for Gaelic at the Normal entry examination, over and 
above the two languages to which other P.T.'s are confined. The 
Code of 1899, which is simply revolutionary, though in the right 
direction, in many vital matters of education, has considerably 
altered the position of Gaelic. Only points 2 and 4 appear in the- 
new Code ; 1 and 3 have disappeared. Number one may easily 
be restored, but Gaelic as a specific subject is doomed, for the Code 
has abolished Specifics. There is no separate payment for any 
such, though the standard of examination insisted on in the 
Advanced Department is founded on the old specific schedule. 
No doubt teachers will be allowed to take Gaelic as part of the 
Advanced Department curriculum, to be counted on an equality 
with Latin or French ; but this point also requires clearing up. 

Inverness, 15th March, 1899. 

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1. 'Se ainm a' Chomuinn "Comunn Gailig Inbhir-Nis." 

2. 'S e tha an run a' Chomuinn : — Na buill a dheanamh 
iomlan 's a' Ghailig ; cinneas Canaine, Bardachd agus Ciuil na 
Gaidhealtachd ; Bardachd, Seanachas, Sgeulachd, Leabhraichean 
agus Sgriobhanna 's a' chanain sin a thearnadh o dhearmad ; 
Leabhar-lann a chur suas ann am baile Inbhir-Nis de leabhraichibh 
agus sgriobhannaibh — ann an canain sam bith — a bhuineas do 
Chaileachd, Ionnsachadh, Eachdraidheachd agus Sheanachasaibh 
nan Gaidheal no do thairbhe na Gaidhealtachd ; c6ir agus cliu nan 
Gaidheal a dhion ; agus na Gaidhei! a shoirbheachadh a ghna ge 
b'e ait' am bi iad. 

3. 'S iad a bhitheas 'nam buill, cuideachd a tha gabhail suim 
do runtaibh a' Chomuinn ; a^us so mar gheibh iad a staigh : — 
Tairgidh aon bhall an t-iarradair, daingnichidh ball eile an tairgse, 
agus, aig an ath choinneamh, ma roghnaicheas a! mhor-chuid le 
crannchur, nithear ball dhith-se no dheth-san cho luath 's a 
phaidhear an comh-thoirt; cuirear crainn le ponair dhubh agus 
gheal, ach, gu so bhi dligheach, feumaidh tri buill dheug an crainn 
a chur. Feudaidh an Comunn Urram Cheannardan a thoirt do 
urrad 'us seachd daoine cliuiteach. 

4. Paidhidh BaU Urramach, W bhliadhna . £0 10 6 

Ball Cumanta 5 

Foghlainte 10 

Agus ni Ball-beatha aon chomh-thoirt de . 7 7 

5. 'S a' cheud-mhios, gach bliadhria, roghnaichear, le crainn, 
€o-chomhairle a riaghlas gnothuichean a' Chomuinn, *s e sin — aon 

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1. The Society shall be called the "Gaelic Society op 

2. The objects of the Society are the perfecting of the Mem- 
bers in the use of the Gaelic language; the cultivation of the 
language, poetry, and music of the Scottish Highlands; the res- 
cuing from oblivion of Celtic Poetry, traditions, legends, books, 
and manuscripts ; the establishing in Inverness of a library, to 
consist of books and manuscripts, in whatever language, bearing 
upon the genius, the literature, the history, the antiquities, and 
the material interests of the Highlands and Highland people ; the 
vindication of the rights and character of the Gaelic people ; and, 
generally, the furtherance of their interests whether at home or 

3. The Society shall consist of persons who take a lively in- 
terest in its objects. Admission to be as follows : — The candidate 
shall be proposed by one member, seconded by another, balloted 
for at the next meeting, and, if he or she have a majority of votes 
and have paid the subscription, be declared a member. The ballot 
shall be taken with black beans and white ; and no election shall 
be valid unless thirteen members vote. The Society has power to 
elect distinguished men as Honorary Chieftains to the number of 

4. The Annual Subscription shaD be, for — 

Honorary Members £0 10 6 

Ordinary Members . . . . .050 

Apprentices 10 

A Life Member shall make one payment of . 7 7 

5. The management of the affairs of the Society shall be en- 
trusted to a Council, chosen annually, by ballot, in the month of 

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Cheann, tri Iar-chinn, Cleireach Urramach, Kunaire, Ionmhasair, 
agus coig buill eile — feumaidh iad uile Gailig a thuigsinn *s a 
bhruidhinn ; agus ni coigear dhiubh coinneamh. 

6. Cumar coinneamhan a' Chomuinn gach seachduin o thois 
each an Deicheamh mios gu deireadh Mhairt, agus gach ceithir" 
la-deug o thoiseach Ghiblein gu deireadh an Naothamh-mios. 'S 
i a' Ghailig a labhrar gach oidhche mu'n seach aig a* chuid a's 

7. Cuiridh a' Cho-chomhairle la air leth arms an t-Seachdamh- 
mios air-son Coinneamh Bhliadhnail aig an cumar Co-dheuchainn 
agus air an toirear duaisean air-son Piobaireachd 'us ciuil Ghaidh- 
ealach eile ; anns an fheasgar bithidh co-dheuchainn air Leughadh 
agus aithris Bardachd agus Kosg nuadh agus taghta ; an deigh sin 
cumar Cuirm chuideachdail aig am faigh nithe Gaidhealach rogh- 
ainn 'san uirghioll, ach gun roinn a dhiultadh dhaibh-san nach tuig 
Gailig. Giulainear cosdas na co-dheuchainne le trusadh sonraichte 
a dheanamh agus cuideachadh iarraidh o 'n t-sluagh. 

8. Cha deanar atharrachadh sam bith air coimh-dhealbhadh 
a' Chomuinn gun aontachadh dha thrian de na J m bheil de luchd- 
bruidhinn Gailig air a' chlar-ainm. Ma 's miann atharrachadh a 
dheanamh is eiginn sin a chur an ceill do gach ball, mios, aig a' 
chuid a J s lugha, roimh 7 n choinneamh a dh'fheudas an t-atharrachadh 
a dheanamh Feudaidh ball nach bi a lathair roghnachadh le 

9. Taghaidh an Comunn Bard, Piobaire, agus Fear-leabhar- 

Ullaichear gach Paipear agus Leughadh, agus giulainear gach 
Deasboireachd le run fosgailte, duineil, durachdach air-son na 
firinn, agus cuirear gach ni air aghaidh ann an spiorad caomh, glan, 
agus a reir riaghailtean dearbhta. 

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January, to consist of a Chief, three Chieftains, an Honorary 
Secretary, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and five other Members of the 
Society, all of whom shall understand and speak Gaelic ; five to 
form a quorum. 

6. The Society shall hold its meetings weekly from the 
beginning of October to the end of March, and fortnightly from 
the beginning of April to the end of September. The business 
shall be carried on in Gaelic on every alternate night at least. 

7. There shall be an Annual Meeting in the month of July, 
the day to be named by the Committee for the time being, when 
Competitions for Prizes shall take place in Pipe and other High- 
land Music. In the evening there shall be Competitions in Bead- 
ing and Keciting Gaelic Poetry and Prose, both original and select. 
After which there will be a Social Meeting, at which Gaelic sub- 
jects shall have the preference, but not to such an extent as 
entirely to preclude participation by persons who do not under- 
stand Gaelic. The expenses of the competitions shall be defrayed 
out of a special fund, to which the general public shall be invited 
to subscribe. 

8. It is a fundamental rule of the Society that no part of the 
Constitution shall be altered without the assent of two- thirds of 
the GaeKc-speaking Members on the roll ; but if any alterations 
be required, due notice of the same must be given to each member, 
at least one month before the meeting takes place at which the 
alteration is proposed to be made. Absent Members may vote by 

9. The Society shall elect a Bard, a Piper, and a Librarian. 

All Papers and Lectures shall be prepared, and all Discussions 
carried on, with an honest, earnest, and manful desire for truth ; 
and all proceedings shall be conducted in a pure and gentle spirit, 
and according to the usually recognised rules. 

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J. E, B. Baillie, Esq. of Doch- 
four, M,P. 


Mr Jamea Fraser, C.E. 

iVfr Alex, Macbain, M.A. 

Mr John L. Robertson, H.M.I.S. 


Mr William Mackay, Solicitor. 


Mi- Duncan Mackintosh, Bank 
of Scotland. 


Mr John Macdonald. 
Mr Duncan Mactavish. 
Mr William Fraser. 
Mr Alex. Mackenzie. 
Mr Wni + Macdonald. 


Mr William Fraser. 


Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie. 


Mr Neil Macleod, Edinburgh. 


Cluny Macpherson of Cluny 


Mr John Macdonald. 
Mr James Fraser, C.E. 
Rev. Thomas Sinton. 


Mr William Mackay, Solicitor. 


Mr Duncan Mackintosh, Bank 
of Scotland. 


Mr Alex. Macdonald. 


Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A. 
Mr Alex. Mackenzie 
Mr William Macdonald. 
Mr Thomas A. Mackay. 
Mr William Fraser. 


Mr William Fraser. 


Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie. 


Mr Neil Macleod, Edinburgh 


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Introduction . -v. 

Constitution x. 

Office-bearers for 1896-97 xiv. 

Twenty-fourth Annual Dinner (1896) .... 1 
Minor Highland Families (No. X.) — The Cuthberts of 

Castlehill, styled " MacSheorais" — Dr Charles Fraser- 

Mackintosh ........ 10- 

Scraps of Unpublished Poetry and Folklore from Glen- 

moriston — Mr Alex. Macdonald, Inverness . . 22 

Strathspey Raid to Elgin in 1820— Ex-Bailie W. G. Stuart 37 

The Mission of the Celt — Mr L. Macbean, Kirkcaldy . 56 
Sketches of the Early History, Legends, and Traditions of 

Strathardle (No. V.) — Mr Charles Fergusson . . 69 

Second Sight in the Highlands — Miss Goodrich Freer . 106 

Annual Assembly (1896) 115 

Selections from the Family Papers of the Mackays of 

Bighouse (No. I.) — Capt. Wimberley, Inverness . 120 
Beagan Dhuilleag bho Sheann Bhardachd Eilean a* Che6 — 

Mr Neil Macleod, Edinburgh 171 

Twenty-fifth Annual Dinner (1897) 187 

Mr Skene v. Dr Skene — Mr A. Macbain, M.A., Inverness . 191 
Some Unpublished Gaelic Ballads from the Maclagan MSS. 

(No. I.) — Rev. J. Kennedy, Arran . . . .214 
The Gaelic Dialect of Arran — Rev. C. M. Robertson, 

Inverness 229 

Fauns and Fairies — Rev. James Macdonald, Reay . . 265 

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Minor Highland Families (No. XL) — The Robertsons of 

Inshes — Dr Charles Fraser-Mackintosh . . . 289 

Further Gaelic Words and Etymologies — Mr A. Macbain, 

M.A., Inverness 306 

Early History, Legends, and Traditions of Strathardle 

(No. VI.)— Mr Charles Fergusson .... 326 

Seana Bheachdan agus Seana Chleachdaidhean (No. I.) — 

Rev. J. Macrury, Snizort 369 

Early Sources of Scottish Gaelic — Mr J. L. Robertson, 

Inverness 379 

Gleanings from the Cluny Charter Chest (No. III.) — 

Provost Macpherson, Kingussie .... 391 

Members of the Society — 

Honorary Chieftains 455 

Life Members 455 

Honorary Members . 456 

Ordinary Members ....... 457 

Deceased Members 465 

■Society's Library — List of Books 467 

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28th JANUARY, 1896. 

TWENTY-FOURTH annual dinner. 

The Twenty-fourth Annual Dinner of the Society took place in 
the Station Hotel this evening. The chair was occupied by J. E. 
B. Baillie, Esq. of Dochfour, M.P., Chief of the Society for 1896, 
who was supported by Major Jackson of Swordale ; Capt. Malcolm, 
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders ; ex-Provost Ross, LL.D.; Rev. 
Dr Norman Macleod ; Provost Macpherson, Kingussie; Mr 
Duncan Shaw, W.S.; Mr Alexander Mackenzie, publisher; and 
Mr Duncan Mackintosh, Secretary of the Society. The croupiers 
were Mr John L. Robertson, H.M. Inspector of Schools, and Mr 
William Mackay, solicitor, Honorary Secretary of the Society. 
Among those present were — Mr H. V. Maccallum, solicitor ; Dr 
Munro Moir, Inverness ; Rev. John Kennedy, Caticol, Arran ; 
Mr Alexander Macbain, rector, Raining's School ; Mr Jchn Mac- 
leod, M.P.; Mr Guild, Thornbush Brewery ; Mr James A. Gossip, 
The Nurseries ; Mr Steele, agent, Bank of Scotland ; Mr Donald 
Fraser of Millburn ; Rev. Mr Morrison, Kintail ; Mr James 
Barron, Ness Bank; Mr Alexander Mactavish, ironmonger; Mr 
Charles Macdonald, Knocknagael; Mr David Munro, solicitor; 
Mr iEneas Fraser, writer ; Mr Mac waiter, of Messrs Marr <fe Co., 
music-sellers; Mr Mackay, contractor; Mr H. Rose Mackenzie, 
solicitor ; Mr A. M. Ross, Dingwall ; Mr John S. Fraser, solicitor ; 
Mr Fraser, farmer, Balloch ; Dr F. M. Mackenzie ; Mr John Mac- 
kenzie, merchant, Greig Street ; Mr John Cameron, bookseller ; 
Mr Freeman, Union Street; Mr Arthur Medlock, jeweller; Mr 
William Fraser, Greig Street; Mr Alexander Macdonald, High- 
land Railway ; Mr Keeble, Church Street ; Mr M'Hardy, Chief- 
Constable ; Mr Duncan Mactavish, grain merchant ; Mr Wark, 


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2 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Lancashire Insurance Company ; Mr Ross, solicitor ; Mr Mac- 
pherson, merchant, Inglis Street ; Mr Samuel Davidson, Union 
Street, and others. 

After an excellent dinner had been done ample justice to, 
during which the Society's Piper, Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie, 
Gordon Castle, played stirring and well-selected music, 

The Chairman, who was received with applause, gave the 
loyal and patriotic toasts, in course of which he sympathetically 
referred to the great loss the Royal Family had recently sustained 
by the death of Prince Henry of Battenberg. He was sure he was 
only expressing the feelings of every one present when he said 
they deeply sympathised with the Queen and widowed Princess. 

Captain Malcolm replied for the Army and Navy, and Major 
Duncan Shaw replied for the Volunteers. 

The Secretary then read a long list of apologies for absence 
from members of the Society, and submitted the annual report of 
the Executive, Avhich was as follows : — The Council have pleasure 
in reporting that the Society have had another useful year. 
During the year fifteen papers were read at the Society's meetings, 
and the nineteenth volume of the Society's " Transactions " was 
issued and delivered to the members. Volume twenty is in the 
press, and will, it is expected, be issued before the date of the 
annual assembly in July. The syllabus for the current session is 
in the hands of the members present. The Treasurer's report is 
as folio ws : — Balance from last year, £55 2s Id ; income during 
year, £116 Is 5d ; total, £171 3s 6d; expenditure during year, 
£146 Is 9d— Balance in Bank of Scotland, £25 Is 9d. During 
the year the Society was joined by 1 life member, 4 honorary 
members, and 39 ordinary members. On the other hand, the 
Council greatly regret the death of several members, including 
Field-Marshal Sir Patrick Grant, Chief of the Society for past year; 
Mr Colin Chisholm, one of the honorary chieftains of the Society ; 
and ex-Bailie Alexander Mackenzie, Silverwells, who was for 
several years one of the chieftains of the Society. 

The Chairman, on rising to propose the toast of the evening — 
" Success to the Gaelic Society of Inverness " — was received with 
great enthusiasm. He said — My position upon this occasion is 
to a certain extent an awkward one, as I am deficient in the very 
point which is the object of the existence of this Association. I 
think this deficiency may, however, be forgiven me, when you 
consider that all my boyhood days \*ere, spent in foreign countries, 
where my father had to live owing to his being in the diplomatic 
service. But I have always deeply regretted this want of know- 

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Annual Dinner. 3 

ledge, which would have enabled a closer and more intimate 
relation between myself and the people with whom 1 am most 
closely connected. I never regretted it more than I do now, as it 
prevents me speaking intelligently to such a large number of 
those whom I have the honour to represent in the House of 
Commons. I can, however, value and respect Gaelic without 
knowing it. It is impossible to allow the language of a 
nation to die without losing with it many of the mental and 
intellectual characteristics of the people. It is not only a matter 
of historical interest to preserve the peculiarities of this national 
temperament ; it is, I believe, a matter of great importance in the 
.history of a nation that the characteristics and every one of the 
elements of which the national life is composed should be 
preserved. The Highlanders have lessons to teach to Great 
Britain, and lessons to teach to the age in which we live. The 
Scotchman of the Lowlands brings into the national life thrift 
carefulness, and determination of purpose, and a singleness of aim 
in life which brings him to the front as a man of business ; the 
Englishman has these noble qualities — a sense of justice and 
honesty and respect for law, which makes him the best ruler in 
the world ; but both of these have a tendency to the material 
and matter of fact side of life ; it remains for the Highlander to 
introduce the romantic element, which finds so large an expression 
in his literature. Again, it is a common complaint that family 
ties and public loyalty are weakening every day. Surely the 
people whose love of name, race, country, and home is so 
proverbial, may have a place as teachers in such an age. I only 
wish I could prove the value I put upon this matter by learning 
Gaelic myself, but I fear it is too late to do so now. In con- 
clusion, let me only say how glad I am to have this public 
opportunity of expressing the sympathy I feel for the objects of 
this Association, and to assure you that I shall always warmly 
second any efforts you may be making to carry on this work, 
which I consider as of such great importance. 

Provost Macpherson, Kingussie, in giving the toast of The 
Language and Literature of the Gael, said — The subject of this 
toast has been so often and so ably thrashed out at successive 
gatherings of this Society, for many years, that one feels quite at 
a loss to say anything fresh on the point. I desire, therefore, 
simply to confine myself to a few words as to the language, and to 
a brief reference to the labours of those who, during the last half 
century — without going further back — have done so much in the 
way of rescuing and preserving the literature of the Gael. And 

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4 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

first as to the language, so appropriately termed " A' chainnt bhinin 
bhlasda a bha aim o chein." While the English tongue is now as 
indispensable as English coin in the business of e very-day life, we 
find in the Gaelic language, in the more sacred home-life of a 
Highland community, treasures — as has well been said — of 
devotion and affection, a balm for bruised hearts, a music of old 
times, reminiscences of genuine Highland hospitality, a vehicle of 
fire-side talk, and patriotic inspiration, and of young love whisper- 
ing in the twilight of a summer evening in our native glens, such 
as no Highland heart will ever find in equal luxuriance in the 
chilly English speech. Let me recall in this connection a few of 
the many wise and patriotic sentiments to which Professor Blackie 
— that warm-hearted friend and admirer of the Gael, whose recent 
death awakened feelings of the deepest sorrow among Highlanders 
all over the world — so frequently gave expression. " I respect and 
reverence the Gaelic language," he said on one occasion, " and learn 
from her lips more tenderness, and, perhaps, more wisdom, than 
from the most recent school book, bound with red tape, and 
patronised by Her Majesty's inspectors. If the language," he 
continued, " is to die speedily the fault will mainly be with the 
Highland people themselves. ... No doubt the Celt is a 
British citizen, and ought to be taught English. That should be 
placed in the foreground, but unless circumstances are very un- 
favourable — unless he is ill-treated by others, or ill-treats him self t 
and looks only to what affects his pocket, rather than to what 
makes his bosom swell with noble emotion and sentiment — he 
ought not to neglect his mother tongue ; and he is a monster if 
he does not love it. He may have the misfortune to have a father 
who told him to avoid the mother tongue, and who sent him to 
Eton or Harrow to learn to read Horace and to be licked into an 
Englishman, and who did not know that the best thing for a 
Highland laird was to be familiar with the language of his own 
people, and the history and traditions of the ancestral glens." 
" No people," said Trelawny, the friend of Byron and Shelly, " if 
they retain their name and language need despair," and that 
pledge of liberty and guarantee of nationality, let us hope that, in 
some measure at least, we still possess. And now a few words as 
to the literature of the Gael. The question has not un frequently 
been asked by would-be cynics whether such a thing as Celtic 
literature exists at all, but to enlarge upon such a question at a 
gathering of this Society would surely be altogether a work of 
supererogation. "The moment," says Dr Douglas Hyde, in an 
interesting little volume recently published — entitled " The Story 

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Annual Dinner. 5 

of Early Gaelic Literature" — "The moment that the English 
reader embarks on the sea of native Irish literature (and this 
applies with equal force to the literature of the Highlands) he 
finds himself in absolutely unknown waters. It is not merely that 
the style, the phraseology, the turns of speech, the entire metrical 
system are as unlike English as though the whole of Europe lay 
between the two countries, but its allusions are to things, and 
times, and events, and cycles, and dynasties strange and unknown 
to him, and he thus finds himself suddenly launched into a new 
world, whose existence was, by him, perfectly unsuspected. He is 
beset on every side by allusions which he cannot nnderstand, 
similes he cannot grasp, and by ideas which are strange to him." 
Confining myself to the period I have mentioned, and to this side 
of the Border, the labours of such well-known Celtic scholars as 
Dr Skene, Mr J. F. Campbell, Dr Maclauchlan of Edinburgh, Dr 
Clark of Kilmallie, Dr Cameron of Brodick, Dr Hately Waddell, 
Mrs Mary Mackellar, Professor Blackie, Sheriff Nicolson, Rev. 
Mr Campbell of Tiree, Rev. Mr Macgregor of Inverness, Mr 
Hector Maclean of Islay, and others, who have all now gone 
over to the majority, are, I have no doubt, familiar to most 
of you. Let me specially refer to the Teachdaire and 
Cuairtear of that Highlander of Highlanders, the elder Dr 
Norman Macleod, of St Columba's, Glasgow — a man, it has 
been justly said, " worthy to be remembered with affec- 
tionate veneration by all lovers of the Scottish Highlands, 
their people, and their language ; whose perfect knowledge of 
Gaelic proverbs, and happy use of them, gave a special charm to 
his Highland dialogues, which, in wisdom, humour, tenderness, in 
height of aim, pureness of spirit, and simple beauty of style, have 
not been surpassed in the literature of any country." Need I 
allude to these admirable, but now, alas ! defunct, periodicals, 
The Gael, The Celtic Magazine, and The Highland Monthly, and 
to our northern newspapers, which have all done such excellent 
service in the way of promoting the cultivation of the language, 
poetry, and music of the Highlands ? The three magazines which 
I have mentioned have unfortunately ceased to exist, but let me 
specially commend their successor, so to speak, that bright and 
attractive little periodical, The Celtic Monthly, at present so 
admirably conducted by Mr John Mackay, of Glasgow, which, I 
believe, is steadily increasing in circulation among Highlanders 
both at home and abroad. Among the many admirable papers 
given in The Celtic Magazine, I may be pardoned for specially 
alluding to the delightful " Snatches of Highland Song," collected 

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6 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

in Badenoch by our worthy friend, Mr Sinton, the minister of 
Dores, which have greatly interested natives of Badenoch, and 
which I hope may soon be published in book form. I would 
desire also to refer to the racy papers appearing in the Inverness 
Courier from time to time, from the pen of that genial and 
accomplished clergyman, " Nether Lochaber," which many of us, 
I am sure, do not peruse with less interest, from his decided 
Jacobite leanings. Of special interest to Highlanders have also 
been many of the papers in the Northern Chronicle, from the pen 
of Mr Campbell, the able and accomplished editor of that news- 
paper. Coming nearer home, let me refer to the labours of Mr 
Alexander Mackenzie, of the Scottish Highlander, the well-known 
author of so many clan histories, to whom such a splendid and 
well-deserved tribute of admiration was made this afternoon by 
such a large number of subscribers, representing all shades of 
political opinion. Let me also mention the name of Mr Alexander 
Macbain, who has been appropriately termed " one of the best- 
living Celtic scholars." If you will pardon a personal remark, not 
a few members of this Society, while admiring the attainments of 
our friend, Mr Macbain, *as a Celtic philologist, do not by any means 
endorse all his historical opinions, and I may perhaps be allowed 
to express the hope that, as regards some at least of these 
opinions, he may come to see " the error of his way." In the 
meantime, as loyal members of the Gaelic Society, we must of 
course " agree to differ." But this by the way. Within the last 
four or five years no little literary activity has prevailed in the 
way of publication of very meritorious works connected with the 
Highlands. During that short period we have had the poems and 
songs of Mary Macpherson, the Skye poetess ; a collection of 
original Gaelic songs and poems by Allister Macdonald, Inverness ; 
and fuller editions of the works of some of our earlier poets have 
been issued by Neil Macleod, the bard of the Society. We have 
also had the literary remains of that accomplished Gaelic scholar 
and native of Badenoch, Dr Cameron, of Brodick, in two portly 
volumes, ably edited by Mr Macbain and Rev. John Kennedy. 
Another remarkable volume — justly characterised as " a model 
parish history" — is " Urquhart and Glenmoriston," by our highly 
esteemed friend, Mr William Mackay, one of the original members 
of the Society, and one of the most frequent and valued contributors 
to its Transactions. Within the same period, Mr Mackenzie has 
issued a new and improved edition of his "History of the 
Mackenzies," which has been received with a chorus of approval, 
alike from the clan and from the general public. We have also 

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Annual Dinner. 7 

had " Eachdraidh Beatha Chriosd" from that master of racy and 
idiomatic Gaelic, Rev. Mr Macruiy of Snizort ; "The Last Mac - 
donalds of Isla," already out of print, from Mr Fraser-Mackintosh ; 
" Personal Names and Surnames of the Town of Inverness," from 
Mr M*cbain ; " Memorable Highland Floods of the Nineteenth 
Century," from Mr Nairne, the talented sub-editor of the Chronicle ; 
and " Gaelic Incantations and Charms," from Mr William Mac- 
kenzie, the secretary of the Crofters Commission, for some time 
the energetic secretary of this Society. In course of the present 
ye?.r we have also the promise of several very important works 
connected with the Highlands. Among these are Mr Macbain's 
"Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language"; "The History 
of the Erasers," by the indefatigable clan historian, Mr Mackenzie; 
" The Records of the Presbyteries of Inverness and Dingwall," to 
be edited by Mr Win, Mackay for the " Scottish History Society;" 
"The Clan Donald," by Rev. Archibald Macdonald, Kiltarlity, 
and Rev. A. J. Macdonald, Killearnan ; and " Sutherland and the 
Reay Couutry," by Rev. Adam Gunn, of Durness, and Mr John 
Mackay, the editor of the Celtic Monthly, The toast was coupled 
with the name of Rev. John Kennedy of Caticol, Arran, whom Mr 
Macpherson characterised as one of the best Gaelic scholars of our 
time, and who had been associated with Mr Macbain in the 
publication of Dr Cameron of Brodick's Eeliquioe Celticce* 

Rev. Mr Kennedy, Arran, said he had to thank Provost Mac- 
pherson for the extremely kind way in which he had referred to 
himself. This was the first time he had been in the capital of the 
Highlands, and he enjoyed immensely the pleasure and privilege 
of being present that night. To begin with, he had to congratulate 
the Gaelic Society of Inverness on the motto which headed the 
programme this evening — 

" A' chuirm sgaoilte ; chualas an ceol, 
Ard sholas an talla nan Triath." 

The feast spread ; the music was heard, 
High holiday in the hall of the heroes. 

All present to that extent were heroes, and as Mr Macpherson 
had so splendidly given them an account of all that had been 
done during the past 50 years, he w r ould only acknowledge 
in one word their indebtedness to him for criticising the 
work accomplished. Their chairman that evening, seeing he was 
so young, need not give up the idea of acquiring the Gaelic 
language. Mr Macpherson of Belleville acquired in two months a 

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8 Gaelic Society of inuerness. 

fair knowledge of the language, and in two years he was able to 
speak to his tenantry. He was a credit to all landlords. It was 
sometimes said that something might be done for the Highlands, 
in Gaelic or in English, in the line of what had been done for the 
Lowlands by Barrie, Crockett, and Ian Maclaren. Crockett him- 
self said his book was often asked for thus — "Have you the 
Crockett Minister by Stickit." They had Miss Fionna Macleod 
now doing the very best in that direction for the Highlands — the 
pioneer in a sphere where a great amount of work might yet be 

Mr William Mackay, solicitor, gave the toast of the Clergy. 
He said the Highland clergy were the best working members of 
the Gaelic Society of Inverness. Indeed, if they removed the 
work of the clergy from the Celtic field there would be very little 
left. He coupled the toast with the name of Dr Norman Macleod, 
who was the representative of a family who had done more for 
Celtic literature than any other in the country. 

Dr Norman Macleod, in replying, congratulated Mr Macbain 
upon the completion nf his Gaelic Dictionary. He had the pleasure 
of meeting Dr Whitley Stokes, and when he found he was a Scots- 
man, and before he knew he was a Highlander, he remarked, 
" Do you know Macbain, of Inverness ?" He assured them every 
member of the Gaelic Society would have been proud and gratified 
if they heard the way in which that eminent man spoke of Mr 
Macbain as a Celtic scholar. He did not know if the Highland 
clergy of the present day could be compared in literary power with 
those who w T ent before, but he ventured to hope that they were 
not less assiduous in the discharge of their sacred duties. He 
could only hope that the clergy in their ecclesiastical associations 
should remember the Highland war-cry, " Clann nan Gaidheal an 
guaillibh a ch&le." Although they represented different denomi- 
nations, they all belonged to the same grand army, were fighting 
with the same weapons against the same foes, and looking, he 
trusted, to the same victory. 

A number of other toasts followed, and, at the close, 

Mr Steele proposed, in appropriate terms, the health of the 
Chief. The toast was enthusiastically pledged with Highland 
honours and the playing on the bagpipes of " A man's a man for 
a' that." 

The Chairman, in reply, thanked the company for the cordial 
way in which they had pledged his health. He also thanked 
them for the honour they had done him in electing him as Chief 
of this Society. He could not help feeling that the members 

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Annual Dinner 9 

might have chosen some one better fitted to fill the position. He 
felt that the Chief of this Society ought to be the head of some 
ancient warlike clan, or some one well versed in the Gaelic 
language and literature. But if a true love of the Highlands and 
Highlanders and an earnest desire to further and cultivate the 
promotion of the real interests of his fellow-countrymen were a 
sufficient qualification, then, in this respect at least, he could 
accept the compliment with an easy conscience. He thought it 
was the late Sheriff Nicolson who once remarked that the man 
who did not love his native place should have been born some- 
where else. He believed the Sheriff might have added that a 
Chief of the Gaelic Society who did not love the Highlands should 
not have been born at all. Mr Steele had kindly coupled his 
name with the toast as the representative of Inverness-shire — the 
greatest of Scottish counties. Such a position brought with it 
many responsibilities. He again thanked them for their kindness, 
and he trusted they might be long spared to work together for 
the well-being of their fellow-countrymen and the support of that 
Empire in which they gloried. 

The proceedings, which -vere enlivened by occasional selections 
on the bagpipes by Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie, songs from Mr 
^Eneas Fraser and Mr R. Macleod, and the singing of "Auld 
Lang Syne," in which all heartily joined, brought a most successful 
meeting to a close. 

6th FEBRUARY, 1893. 

At the meeting this evening, Mr Thos. M. Batchen, C.E., Mr 
Murdo Macdonald, C.E., both of Highland Railway, Inverness, and 
Mr James A. Gossip, Knowsley, Inverness, were elected ordinary 
members of the Society. 

The Secretary announced the following donations to the 
Society's Library :— " British Inscriptions," by E. B. Nicolson, 
Bodleian Library, Oxford, from the author, and "The Deponent 
Verb in Irish," by Professor Strachan, from the author. 

Thereafter, the Secretary read a paper contributed by Charles 
Fiaser-Mackintosh, Esq. of Drummond, entitled " The Cuthberts 
of Castlehill." The paper was as follows : — 

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10 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 



The recent valuable analysis of the names of the population of 
Inverness, compiled by Rector Macbain, shows that the predominant 
surname in the town at present is that of Fraser. That of Mac- 
kintosh was predominant in last century, and before then was the 
once leading name of Cuthbert, now disappeared, like those of Wans 
and Barbour. 

The name Cuthbert is a very ancient Saxon «>ne. St Cuthbert 
was popular both in England and Scotland, and many churches 
were dedicated to him. 

It is generally admitted that the original Castle of Inverness 
•stood on the Crown lands, and that after its destruction, and the 
reconstruction of the new one on the height overhanging the river, 
the words " Auld Castlehill " came into use. It may also be fairly 
assumed that the upper part of Castle Street, formerly " Domes - 
dale," was cut out from the Barnhills, or deepened as it now is, for 
the greater security of the new Castle. 

It will be kept in view that the Castles of Inverness were 
essentially fortifications, and that while the new one was well 
defended by the river at its foot on the west side, it was at the 
same time essential that it should so far as practicable stand 
isolated from the adjoining heights on the east or Barn hill side. 

Anyone who examines the sites of the old and new Castle hills 
will see at once how much stronger, both for attack and defence, 
the new position was. 

The extent of Auld Castlehill may be fairly arrived at, as it is 
known that while part extended to the sea, the valley of the 
Millburn, perhaps the stream itself, would have formed the 
boundary to the North-East, as it is unquestionable that the lands 
of Knockjntinnel, on which the Barracks are now built, bounded 
Auld Castlehill on that side. 

These lands of Knockintinnel, as also the barony of Culcabock 
immediately adjoining to the South-West, with Auld Castlehill, 
comprehended the only lands independent of Inverness burgh 
until you come to Culloden proper, all the remainder, including 
Broomhill, Stoneyfield, and Culloden's Carnlaw, being included 
within the territory of the burgh of Inverness. The property of 

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Minor Highland Families. U 

Castlehill with which the Cuthberts were so long associated is 
mentioned at a very early date, but the surnames of the early 
proprietors, if any, have not been handed down. 

The authentic antiquity of the family of Cuthbert is sufficient 
to stand on its own foundation, without giving credence to the 
imaginary genealogy of the well-known Bore Brief of 1686. 

Among some of the oldest Inverness charters existing there are 
charters to and by the old proprietors of Castlehill, such as by 
Edoua of the "Auld Castle," one of the daughters and heiresses 
of the late Thomas, 4th March, 1351 ; Sir Robt. de Chisholm, 
superior, 14th September, 1362 ; and Donald of the "Auld Castle," 
14th April, 1447 — all except Chisholm's without surnames. 

The lands were then held in feu, Sir Robert de Chisholm being 
superior, as already mentioned, in 1362, as was Thomas de Weike 
in 1458-1477. 

The Cuthberts were free barons, although by the Valuation 
Roll of 1691 the valuation of George Cuthbert only amounted to 
£224 Scots, whereof £168 lay in Inverness and £56 in Croy 

In 1644 Janet Mackenzie, Lady Castlehill, is rated at £266 
13s 4d Scots. Hence it follows that Auld Castlehill, not extending 
to £400 Scots of valuation, must to constitute a freehold have 
been a forty shilling land of old extent. 

A Thomas Cuthbert does appear as one of the witnesses to a 
charter of 1458, but the first Cuthbert of whom authentic record 
exists connected with Castlehill, and with whom I commence, was 

I. William Cuthbert, who is said to have been a son of John 
and a grandson of George Cuthbert, who fought in 1411 at Harlaw, 
at the head of the contingent sent by the burgh of Inverness 
against Donald of the Isles, whose predecessors' visits to the town, 
being generally followed by sack and destruction, were not 
welcomed or appreciated. 

From the charter of 1478 it appeal's that the lands of Auld 
Castlehill, " lying within the Earldom of Moray and the Sheriffdom 
of Inverness," were personally resigned into the King's hands by 
Sir James Weike, chaplain, and of new granted by James III. to 
William Cuthbert, burgess of Inverness, at Edinburgh, 23rd July, 
1498, these being witnesses — John, Bishop of Glasgow ; William, 
Bishop of Moray, Keeper of the Privy Seal ; Thomas, Bishop of 
Aberdeen ; Andrew, Lord Avondale, Chancellor ; Colin, Earl of 
Argyll, Master of the Royal Household ; David, Earl of Crawford, 
Lord Lindsay ; James, Lord Hamilton ; Mr John de Colquhoun of 
that Ilk, Knight; Mr Archibald Whitelaw, Archdean of Lothian, 

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12 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

the King's Secretary ; Mr Alexander Inglis, Dean of Dunkeld, 
Clerk of the Rolls and the Register. The next Cuthbert who is 
noted was 

II. John, probably a son of the above William. John was 
succeeded by his grandson, 

III. George, who received from Queen Mary, dated at the 
monastery of Haddington, 24th July, 1548, a charter as grandson 
and heir of John Cuthbert, some time of Auld Castlehill. This 
George, who married Agnes Rose of Kilravock, had with his wife 
another charter from Queen Mary on the following day, 25th 
July, 1548, of the following subjects : — 

"12 acres of land of the lordship and heritage of Auld Castle- 
hill, in the Sheriffdom of Inverness, viz.— 8 lying continuously 
between the lands of Saint Michael and the heirs of the late 
Robert Vans, the Queen's Street and the sea ; 4 acres upon the 
Castlehill, viz. — one in Milnfield, between the lands of the heirs of 
the late James Cuthbert, the land of the Chaplain of the Holy Rood, 
the road which leads to the mill, and the rig which leads to Broom- 
town ; the other in the rield between the lands of John Cuthbert, 
the land of the said Chaplaincy, the street leading to the mill, 
and the rig leading to the Draikies ; the third between the lands of 
the said John Cuthbert and the street leading to the Draikies : the 
fourth lying between the lands of the late Robert Vaus, the land 
of the Chaplaincy of the Blessed Virgin Mary's High Altar, and 
the way leading to the Draikies ; which the said John Cuthbert of 
Auld Castlehill resigned, reserving his frank tenement of four 
acres of said lands, to be holden to the said George and Agnes in 
conjunct fee, and to his heirs-male of their marriage." 

George was Provost of Inverness and is found in the years 
1554 and 1561. In 1559 he, as Provost, with the Bailies, received 
the property and Church utensils of the Friars, conform to an 
inventory bearing their receipt and acknowledgment, at Inverness 
the 22nd of December of 1559, quoted in the Book of Kilravock. 

Those who " pulled the ropes " acted with great prudence, and 
in the interest of the Burgh as they imagined. 

The Magistrates had taken step after step for months to 
possess themselves of the Friars' property, but had hardly got it 
when they parted with it, voluntarily or involuntarily it does not 
appear, but unwillingly — I should hope — to the Cuthberts, which 
was their game from the moment the Friars were seen to be 
friendless and powerless and on the brink of being wiped out. 
Hitherto the Cuthberts had been loyal and devout Churchmen, 

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Minor Highland Families. 13 

but now, like the impecunious Scottish nobles, they strove to 
acquire such ecclesiastical property as they could grasp, and one 
of them, William, also Provost of Inverness, betwixt the years 
1570 and 1578, got a tack, first, of all the Friars' property, 
turning out the old occupants, and, later on, getting an absolute 
right by charter from the Burgh — in other words, from themselves. 
This clerical zealot Provost, fattening upon the spoils of the 
ancient Church, is found, in 1573, directing that four men be 
selected to perambulate the town on Sundays, in order that the 
public be hunted out and compelled to attend the new worship. 

Shortly afterwards the Cuthberts appear to have had some 
compunctions, and gifted to the Burgh as a place of interment, 
certain acres surrounding St Mary's Chapel, afterwards and 
now known as the Chapel- Yard. Over the gate these words, 
which have disappeared for more than a hundred years, were 
placed, "Concordia* res parvae cresciint," of a cynical nature, 
suggesting a very different meaning from that intended by Sallust. 

George Cuthbert was succeeded by his son, 

IV. John, who was served heir to his father on 25th April,. 
1587, and received a Royal charter from James the Sixth, dated 
at Dalkeith, 19th August, 1592. The charter runs in favour of 
John Cuthbert of Auld Castlehill and his heirs-male whatso- 
ever " bearing the arms and surname of Cuthbert, the lands, 
of Auld CastlehilJ, which the said John resigned for this 
infeftment, and which the King of new gave to him for 
his good service ; with mills, multures, mill lands, woods, fishings, 
as well of salmon as of other fishes in salt waters and in fresh ; 
and incorporated with the same into one free barony of Auld 
Castlehill, for which one sasine, taken at the Manor House thereof, 
should stand for all ; And whereas the King was aware that these 
lands were surrounded by insolent men, and of diverse, powerful 
families, not obeying the laws, who, entering to any part of the 
said lands during ward, etc., wished continuously to retain them, 
therefore he wills that whenever these lands shall be in the hands 
of the King by reason of ward or non-entry, the said John shall 
pay five marks yearly during the time of ward and non-entry, ten 
marks for relief, and 100 marks for marriage when they shall 
happen ; for which sums the King grants to the said John, the 
ward and relief, non-entry and marriage when they shall happen." 

John added to the family estates by the acquisition in respect of 
unpaid loan, of the lands of Drummond in the parish of Dores. 
This estate did not remain with the Cuthberts for any time, 
although at a much later date a succeeding proprietor, finding 

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14 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Drummond among the subjects included in the old titles, served 
himself heir to that estate, but ineffectually. The name of J.ohn 
is also found in 1600 and 1611, in which latter year the name of 
his son and apparent heir, William, is found. 

V. William, who, on 13th July, 1624, is retoured heir to his 
father John, but does not appear to have survived long after his 
succession to the property — for while the retour of William is 
dated in 1624, a charter under the great seal is granted to his son, 

VI. John, dated 1 August 1625. Contemporary with this 
John was his cousin James Cuthbert of Draikies. It may be con- 
venient here to make some brief reference to the Cuthberts of 
Draikies, cadets of Castlehill. There were three Draikies — Wester, 
Mid, and Easter Draikies, whereof Middle and East, otherwise 
Meikle Draikies belonged to one family, and West Draikies, some- 
times called Little Draikies, to another. Meikle Draikies fell into 
the Castlehill family in the beginning of last century as after- 
mentioned. After passing through several hands, the three 
Draikies, as well as Castlehill, have become part and parcel of the 
Raigmore property. 

I happen to have the testament testament ar of Elizabeth 
Dunbar, the wife of the above-named James Cuthbert of Draikies, 
who died upon the 5th of April, 1618, under the seal of the 
Commissariat office of Inverness, loth November, 1618. This 
inventory shows that Mrs Cuthbert was a very industrious person 
and good manager. She was a sister of Robert Dunbar of Easter 
l>inns in Moray, and amongst her effects were 17 drawing oxen, 
4 queys, 52 sheep and hoggs, 2 work horses, a brown nag, and a 
brown hackney nag. She also possessed a deal of corn, and a 
chain with a tablet of gold estimated at XI 1. 

Amongst her debtors were Angus Mackintosh of Aldturlies, 
Duncan "in the Vennel," Thomas- vic-AUister-vic-Uomas in the 
Leys, Joseph Marjoribanks, burgess of Edinburgh; Alexander 
Mackenzie, fiar of Gairloch ; John Dunbar of Benneagefield, 
Zachary Dunbar, without designation, and Robert Munro of 

Amongst her creditors were Mr James, Bishop of Inverness, 
and her servants, John Dow, David Munro, and Sandie Johnston. 
Her daughters, Christian and Elizabeth, shared her property, 
excepting that Christian, the eldest, is specially left a gold chain 
and a pair of gold bracelets. 

The above James Cuthbert was Provost of Inverness, and held 
considerable estates in Ross-shire. George Monro of Meikle Tarrell, 
dispones to him Lochslyne and Pitnellies by disposition, dated 

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Minor Highland Families, 15 

Tarbat, 27tli May, 1622. The said George Monro also grants 
James Outhbert a disposition of Amatnatua, in Ross, of same date. 
He did not, however, retain Lochslyne long, for there is a con- 
firmation by the King, dated 25th August, 1624, of a disposition 
and ratification by him with consent of his wife, Aber- 

crombie, in favour of John Mackenzie of Applecross, dated at the 
Chanonry of Ross, 3rd June, 1624, witnessed by Colin, Earl uf 
Seaforth ; Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, Knight ; Donald Mackay 
of Strathnaver, and others. 

In 1737 the last Cuthbert of Draikies conveyed the estate to 
Castlehill, head of his family. In 1664 and 1676 notice is found 
of John Cuthbert of Alturlies, in the parish of Petty. 

It is generally admitted that John, the sixth Cuthbert, served 
in the Swedish wars under Gustavus Adolphus, as also in Germany, 
and that after the death of his protector he returned to Scotland 
and married one of the daughters of Cuthbert of Draikies, probably 
one of the two heiresses before named, but as the only indication 
of her Christian name is " N.," the identification is not certain. 
Of John's marriage there were nine daughters, who were all 
married, and one son, 

VI I. George, who succeeded, and married Magdalen, daughter 
of Sir James Fraser of Brae, with issue — three sons and a daughter. 
George does not seem to have been retoured heir to his father until 
21st April, 1677. 

It was in the time of this George that the French branch 
applied for a certificate from the Scots' Parliament of gentle birth. 
The statement is to a great extent fabulous, but there can be no 
doubt of the antiquity of the French family of Colbert. There is 
a most interesting little volume, " Note sur la famille Colbert," 
printed at Pans in 1863, which I long tried to get without success. 
Its perusal, however, was kindly given me by the Rev. George 
Seiguelay Cuthbert, present, and 1 5th of his house, son of the late 
Seignelay Thomas Cuthbert, and grandson of Lewis Cuthbert, the 
last laird of Castlehill, afterwards referred to. From it much 
information can be had, but it must not be relied on on every point. 
The short preface is signed by " N. J. Colbert," and it is understood 
this family is still represented by Baron Colbert, who holds some 
land near Calais. The family of Colbert in France was long 
distinguished in the Church, Senate, and Army, holding numerous 
titles of honour. I have an engraving, in good preservation, of 
Louis XVI.'s famed minister, dated 1660, an intellectual face, with 
much reserved power. George was succeeded by his eldest son, 

VIII. John, who has a sasine as heir to his father on 20th 
April, 1699, and married Jean, only daughter of the Right Rev. 

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16 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

N. Hay of Dalgetty, last of the old Bishops of Moray, who, upon 
7th May, 1700, was infeft in the barony of Castlehill. On 6th 
November, 1731, John makes his last will and testament. He 
was succeeded by his eldest son, 

IX. George, who, with his wife, Mary Mackintosh of Blairvie, 
was infeft in Castlehill, in 1735. By this lady, it is recorded, 
he had a large family, of whom eight were living at their 
father's death. 

This George was for a long time Sheriff-Substitute at Inver- 
ness. His affairs had fallen into disorder, and he was so 
embarrassed that after his death the family had practically sunk. 

The estate was under sequestration for nearly thirty years. 
The old Lady Castlehill, Jean Hay, bestirred herself on her son's 
death, and, with some of her boys, first went to London to crave 
the aid and protection of her brother, Dr Hay. He was in fair 
practice, but not in favour with Government, and told his sister 
to invoke the protection of the French relatives so influential in 
that country. This the plucky Dowager carrisd out, and got two 
of her grandsons put in a very fair way of succeeding in the 
world, becoming, and brought up as, Roman Catholics. 

X. Alexander, who was known as " L'Abbe Colbert," came to 
Edinburgh after an absence of about thirty years and bought 
back the estate. His eldest sister, Jean, who had married 
Thomas Alves of Shipland, Inverness, wrote to her brother con- 
gratulating him on the purchase, and the Abbe's reply has been 
fortunately preserved. It is now given, and I am sure every 
reader will sympathise with him and appreciate his high-toned 
and thankful spirit. 

" Edinburgh, 5th January, 1780. — Dear Sister, — I received 
your kind and most agreeable letter, of the 21st December, 
congratulating me on my success as to the purchasing the old 
Duchus, for which I return you my most grateful thanks. If I 
have succeeded, it was indeed against the greatest opposition and 
difficulties on every side, as you observe. My power and abilities 
were inconsiderable, but I have all reason to thank God for it, 
and for believing that He directed and assisted me in obtaining 
my wish. My patience and perseverance were great and much 
put to a tryal, but the happy event compensates for all, and the 
due submission to the will of God commands my gratitude even 
under these tryals, and gives me hope of His further Almighty 
protection, without which the wisest undertaking of men will be 
baffled. I am rejoiced to learn from yourself that you have got 
the better of your cold, and hope you'll keep free of it the rest of 

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Minor Highland Families. 17 

the session. The winter has been severe on many people's 
constitutions here — few or no families have escaped colds and 
chin-coughs. I have, however, stood it out hitherto, God be 
thanked. I hope now to continue to do so. With my best wishes 
of the season to yourself, Miss Molly, the Misses Low, and all 
friends, I ever remain, dear sister, your most affectionate brother 
and humble servant, (Signed) " Alex. Cuthbert." 

(Addressed) " Mistress Alves of Shipland, at her house on the 
Shore, Inverne88. ,, 

Note. — Letter wafered and appears to have been despatched 
by private baud — No post mark. — C.F.M. 

It would appear that the Abbe" could not hold the property, 
being a Roman Catholic ecclesiastic and naturalised in France, 
and it passed in respect of a small pecuniary consideration into 
the hands of his youngest brother, George, who was Provost- 
Marshal of Jamaica. 

XI. George had hardly come into possession of the estate — in 
fact, never came back to Scotland — when he died, and was 
succeeded by his brother, 

XII. Lewis, who married Jean Pinnock, after whom a farm on 
the estate of Castlehill was called Pinnockfield, which long since 
has fallen into disuse. Lewis lived in the North at Cradlehall for 
some years, and was warmly welcomed by the neighbouring pro- 
prietors and the people of Inverness. 

To the name of Cradlehall is assigned a curious history. It 
was occupied after the battle of Culloden for several years by a 
Colonel Caulfield. The upper part of the house had not been 
properly finished, and was reached by a moveable stair or ladder. 
The Colonel was exceedingly hospitable, and many of his visitors 
could neither find their way home nor be conveyed up these stairs 
to bed with safety. With the assistance of a confidential English 
servant of a mechanical turn, who was often puzzled how to dispose 
•of " overcome " guests with unsteady feet, the Colonel contrived 
An apparatus somewhat in the form of a cradle into which these 
weak-kneed mortals were placed, and the machine attached to a 
pulley, they were wound up to the attics. Hence the name of 
"Cradlehall." Alexander Baillie, during the re-building of 
Dochfour House, and later Mr Lewis Cuthbert, lived at Cradlehall. 
which has retained its name although the cradle itself has long 

Lewis Cuthbert, when he came to reside at Castlehill, had good 
prospects of enjoying his new position, and entered on the posses- 

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18 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

sion of his property with e rery disposition to maintain the credit 
of his ancient house, and in answer to a letter of congratulation, 
wrote very much in the same terms as the Abbe* Cuthbert had done 
some years previously. I regret to find when writing this paper 
that the letter, having been mislaid, cannot be given now. He 
raised considerable sums in Jamaica for the establishment of the 
Inverness Royal Academy. 

It would almost appear as if the family were again to take root 
and recover their former influential position, but this " w r as not to 
be." Sheriff Cuthbert had not a very good reputation, and in my 
younger days, when old families with their traditions and old local 
stories and events were the constant subjects of evening conver- 
sation, the ultimate downfall of the Cuthberts was attributed to 
two causes — 1st, their high-handed seizure of ecclesiastical pro- 
perty after the Reformation : and, 2nd, the judicial murder, for it 
could not be otherwise described, of two poor aged women, who 
were burnt as witches, under sentence of Sheriff Cuthbert, at the 
foot of the stream at Altmurnich, which separates Knockintihnel 
from Broomtown, now Raigmore House grounds. It was also 
alleged that the unfortunate women called down Heaven's curse on 
the Sheriff and his descendants. There can be no doubt that very 
many families of those who acquired spoils of the Church have, 
according to a well-known work, died out or become impoverished 
— whether through the anathemas of the Church or not is a matter 
of question. 

For a few years, between 1792 and 1795, Lewis Cuthbert lived, 
much respected, at Cradlehall, and I have the good fortune of 
possessing his best tea service of Rose Swansea china. The road 
by Cradlehall towards the Culloden woods is one of my favourite 
drives, but I never pass without regretting that the place, with 
its commanding outlook, and splendid trees of the old rule, now 
present such a ragged and down-in-the-world aspect. 

Mr Cuthbert unfortunately became security for the holders of 
certain patent offices in Jamaica, whereby he became seriously 
involved ; and, for the protection of his bankers in London, had to 
execute a disposition of his property to Mr Abram Roberts, about 
the year 1796. The estate had been bought by the Abbe Cuth- 
bert in 1779 for a little over £8000. It had now to be disposed of 
to clear Mr Lewis Cuthbert's cautionary obligations, and, like other 
Highland estates sold before the close of the Peninsular War, it 
brought an enormous increase, not much short of £80,000 — the 
chief purchasers being Culloden, who extended his lands from 
Carnlaw, by Stoneyfield and Broomtown to Knockintinnel ; Gordon 

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Minor Highland rami lies. 19 

of Draikies ; the Right. Hon. Charles Grant ; Duff of Muirtown ; 
the Hon. Archibald Fraser of Lovat ; Welsh of Millburn ; and 

Litigation continued, and as late as the year 1832 the Castlehill 
affairs were not completely wound up, but notwithstanding the 
frightful litigations and disputes among the creditors themselves 
as to preferences, all the debts were paid. 

Going back a little, I wish to note that John, the eldest son of 
Sheriff George (9th) Cuthbert, was killed at Louisburg under 
General Wolff, and died without issue. Another son went to South 
Carolina, and his male descendants represent the family. 1 

1 When this paper first appeared in the newspapers, it attracted the 
attention of two of the Cuthberts in the United States, viz., Lucius Montrose 
Cuthbert, formerly of South Carolina, now of Denver, Colorado ; and Miss 
Katharine Trescott, of Washington ; and from both I received most pleasant 
letters. Miss Trescott, writing on 27th July, 1896, amongst other things says 
that she is the great-great-grand-daughter of John Cuthbert (8th) and of Jean 
Hay. That the Abbe Colbert was not a brother, but uncle of the Bishop of 
Rodez, is shown by a letter from the Bishop to her great-grandfather, which 
letter is dated Gloucester Place, London, 25th August, 1802, the house of 
Lord Gray, and immediately after Lewis Guthbert's death. Miss Trescott 
possesses a miuute knowledge of the American Cuthberts, and of the family 
generally. Mr Lucius Cuthbert is great-great-grandson of James, second son 
of George (9th) of Castlehill, whose eldest brother John was killed at Louis- 
burg fighting under Wolfe. James Cuthbert, who emigrated in 1 737, went to 
South Carolina, and settled at Beaufort, in which place the family continued 
in honour and comfort on their own estate until the war of 1860-1864, when, 
joining the Confederates, their estate was devastated by the Federals, and 
nearly all the family plate, papers, and other valuables either destroyed or 

James Cuthbert married Miss Hazzard of South Carolina, whose eldest 
son, James Hazzard Cuthbert, married Miss Furze of South Carolina. Their 
eldest son, Lucius Cuthbert, married Miss Charlotte Fuller, great-niece 
maternally of Arthur Middleton, one of the signers of the Declaration of 
Independence. Lucius Cuthbert's eldest son was the Rev. Dr James Hazzard 
Cuthbert. Dr Cuthbert married Julia Elizabeth Turpin of Georgia, a lady of 
high English and French descent. One of her predecessors may be mentioned, 
Louis Jean Baptist Champeron, Chevalier d' Antignac, Colonel of King Louis' 
First Company of Musketeers, who, on settling in America, raised a regiment 
in 1776 at his own expense, serving with distinction at its head during the 
Revolutionary Wars. Dr Cuthbert died in 1890, leaving three daughters and 
two sons, the eldest, Lucius Montrose Cuthbert, my correspondent, and 
Middleton Fuller Cuthbert, both unmarried. Mr Lucius Cuthbert, notwith- 
standing the family losses of property, papers, valuables, and the break-up of 
their ancestral home, has gathered up the threads of his family history, inter- 
esting himself greatly in all that concerns them, and it is much to be hoped 
that fortune w3l smile upon him and enable him to restore the family to the 
high position formerly occupied by them, attained through their own merits, 
and by their marriages with some of the oldest and most historic families of 
the Southern States, sprung from the ancient nobility of Great Britain 
and of France.— C. F. M. 

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20 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Another of George's sons was Seignelay, Bishop of llodez, 
who, on the breaking out of the French Revolution, had to fly 
from France, and lived for many years in England, where he died. 

The Bishop was in the North on several occasions, and I have 
some documeuts to whicli his signature is attached. 1 had one or 
two letters of his, but they have unfortunately disappeared. His 
sister, Magdalen, married Major Johnstone, with issue — two sons 
and one daughter. Neither of the sons had any children. The 
daughter, Mary Ann, married the 15th Lord Gray, and the Bishop 
himself died at Lord Gray's house, near London. 

One of the Bishop's brothers was Lewis, as above stated, the 
last proprietor of Castlehill. There were also two brothers, 
Lachlan, who died without issue, and George (11th), Provost 
Marshal of Jamaica, who also died without issue. Of George's 
(9th) daughters I have already mentioned Magdalen ; the second 
was Rachel, who married Simon Fraser, last of Daltullich, and left 
several children ; Mary, married David Davidson 1st of Can tray ; 
and Jean, formerly mentioned, married Thomas Alves of Shipland. 
One of the descendants of the Alves marriage married Inglis of 
Kingsmills, of whom the present family derive. Another married 
William Welsh of Millburn. 

Lewis Cuthbert died in 1802, and was succeeded by his eldest 

XIII. George, sometime of Jamaica, who, dyiug without male 
issue, was succeeded by his brother, 

XIV. Seignelay Thomas, of the Honourable East India Com 
pany's Service, thereafter res ding at Clifton. 

Lewis Cuthbert at his death was survived by his wife, Jean 
Pinnock, and two sons — George and Seignelay Thomas, a»«ove 
mentioned, and three daughters — Mary, Anne, and Elizabeth. 

Though there is not a single Cuthbert now to be found in the 
north, there are rumerous connections by marriage, the nearest 
being the families of Can tray and Kingsmills. Merely to 
enumerate the names in the 17th century would exhaust my 
limits, so 1 confine myself to one near connection of the Castlehill 
family, Alexander Cuthbert, who was Provost of Inverness. He 
possessed a vast number of small subjects within the town and 
territory of Inverness, the mere description in the year 1680 
extending to twelve closely-printed pages. His heritable estate 
fell to his grandson, John Cuthbert, Town Clerk, reserving the 
life-rent to Elizabeth Fraser, the Provost's widow. 

Provost Alexander left a laige family, including, it is snid, 

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Minor Highland Families. 21 

nine daughters, whereof, according to the information of the 
venerable Dr Aird, late of Creich, one married John Macpherson of 
Dalraddy, who purchased the estate of Invereshie, and through 
whom the present Ballindalloch. The late Thomas Alexander 
Lord Lovat, in 1832, on behalf of his g»eat political ally, the first 
Sir George Macpherson-Grant, tried to clear up the connection 
through the late accomplished antiquarian, Mr John Anderson,. 
W.S., but failed, as their idea was that the Cuthbert in the 
Invereshie pedigree was neither of Castlehill or Draikies. Another 
daughter, according to Dr Aird, married Davidson of Cantray, but 
this was not so, as the first Mrs Davidson of Cantray was a Castle- 
hill, as already mentioned. Another daughter married the well- 
known Provost Hossack, of Inverness. Two others married Ross 
of Culrossie and his brother ; and the youngest, Anne, married the 
Rev. James Chapman, a native of Inverness, minister, first of 
Cawdor, and afterwards of Cromdale, who died in 1737, and was 
uthor of a very curious and fabulous history of the Grants. 

Their grand-daughter, Anne, married Gustavus Aird, farmer, 
in the parish of Kilmuir Easter, who was born a very few years 
after the Battle of Culloden, father of the worthy and well-known 
Gustavus Aird, D.D., one of the chief antiquarians of the north, 
who has the heart}' good wishes of all Highlanders in his retire- 
ment from active ministerial life. 

Upon Seignelay Thomas Cuthbcrt's death he was succeeded by 
his son, 

XV. The Rev. George Seignelay Cuthbert, formerly Vicar of 
Market Drayton, and now Rector, residing at The Warden's 
Lodge, Clewer, near Windsor. 

The Rev. Mr Cuthbert, representative in Britain of Castlehill, 
paid his first visit to Scotland and the north in the autumn of 
1895. Both he and Mrs Cuthbert are deeply attached to the 
north and the old Duchus, and they were warmly welcomed by 
those on whom they called during their brief visit, and on whom 
they created a pleasant impression, mingled with regret that they 
must have felt as mere sojourners for a time in a strange land. 

Mr Cuthbert has no family, but it is hoped that some of the 
American Cuthberts, recovering from their vicissitudes, may yet 
re-establish the old name of " MacSheorais" permanently among 

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22 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

12th MARCH, 1896. 

At tke meeting this evening, Mr Angus D. Macleod, Winder- 
mere, and Mr Donald Ross, travelling auditor, Highland Railway, 
were elected ordinary members of the Society. Thereafter Mr 
Alexander Macdonald, Highland Railway, Inverness, read a paper 
entitled " Scraps of unpublished Poetry and Folklore from Glen- 
moriston." The paper was as follows : — 


I have always considered it one of the primary obligations of 
our Society to encourage the collection of unpublished Gaelic 
poetry and folklore. Of both there is unfortunately a great deal 
more still floating about than should be. As poets and story- 
makers the people of the olden times were remarkal ly prolific. 
Circumstances favoured them. Having few or no books to read, 
the literary faculty — which, perhaps, has in no stage of any 
people's history been entirely a *.v anting — asserted itself iu song 
and story ; and the importance of such in arriving at a fair idea 
of the social condition of the ancient Highlanders requires no 
advocacy here. 

Glenmoriston in past times had its own share — a very con- 
siderable share — of song-makers and story-teHers. While it is not 
necessary to account for the fact it is none the less a fact that in 
this respect it w r ould compare favourably with most Highland 
glens. It may safely be stated that but a limited portion is yet 
available of all that is still to be found in the district, much of 
which could be rendered very interesting. 

My first contribution this evening is a poem composed by John 
Grant, the father of Archibald Grant known as the Glenmoriston 
bard. The father was, in my humble opinion, however, by far 
the better poet of the two, though not perhaps the better 
seanachie. John Grant composed several poems, songs, and some 
hymns, which possess considerable merit. The subject of the 
following production is of melancholy interest. It appears that 
two young gentlemen, closely related to the Glenmoriston family, 
were returning one winter evening from Fort-Augustus, when one 
of them, in crossing a burn much swollen by a great ) ain- storm, 
stumbled and was drowned. The sad accident awakened the 
sympathy of the whole country around, and the bard's record of 

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Unpublished Poetry and Folklore. 23 

it is perhaps fully as interesting as the local newspaper paragraph 
of our^enlightened age would render it : — 

'S ann tha ? n diubhail an drasd' 
Air ar culthaobh 'm Portchlar — 
Fear an t-sugraidh 's an sta 
'N ciste duinte fo 'n fhad, 
'S gu 'm bi iomagain gu brath 
Air an duthaich is fhearr cdir ort. 

'S ann tha 'n sgeula nach binn 
'N diugh ri sh&nn anns an t\r — 
Mu 'u fhear cheutach 'bha grinn, 
'S iad an deigh thoirt a l\nn ; 
'S truagh a dh' eirich* dbornh fhin 
Nach fhacas ri m' thim be6 thu. 

Thug a Cballuinn oirnn sgr\ob ; 

5 S olc a dh' fhairich sinn i ; 

Thug i 'm fait bharr ar c\nn ; 

Thainig dosgainn ri 'linn 

Fear do choltais 'thoirt dhi'nn 

Ann an aithghearra th\m ; 

'S tu air do ghearradh a t' fh\or bheo-shlaint 

Tha a chairdean fo ghruaim, 

'S ann an casmhor tha cruaidh, 

'n chaidh Padruig thoirt bhuath, 

'S nach bu nar e ri luaidh — 

Fear do uaduir 'us t-uails' 

'Bhi ga d' fhagail 's nach gluais ceol thu. 

Thuit a chraobh ud fo bhlath, 

'S cha tig aon te na h-ait' ; 

'N uair a shaoil leinn i 'dh' fhas 

'S ann a chaochail a barr ; 

'S leir a dhruidh sid air each ; 

'S soilleir dhuinn gu'm beil beam' mh6r asd'. 

Tha do bhrathair gun sunnd 

'n a chaidh tu 's an uir ; 

'S nach bu gharlaoch gun diu 

Bha e 'g airidh ach thu, 

Fhir bu tlath sealladh suil ; 

'S anns gach aite bha cuis mhor ort. 

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24 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'X uair a thionail an sluagh, 
Eadar chumand' 's dhaoiu uails 1 , 
Bha iad uile fo ghruaim, 
Mu chul bachlach nan dual 
'Bhi ga thasgaidh cho luath, 
Ann an clachan 's an uaigh ; 
Sgeul bu duilich ri luaidh 
Aig gach duin' ort a fhuair eolas. 

Fir an t-Shratha so thall — 

Thainig iadsa na'n ceann, 

Ga'r 'n robh J n cairdeas cho teann 

Ris na dh' fhag thu 's a' gbleann, 

Chnir do bhas orra snaim 

'N uair a cbaidb iad na'n rang comhla. 

I find that the story of this beautiful poem is so far attested by a 
gravestone in Tnvermoriston Churchyard, which bears the fol- 
lowing inscription : — " This stone is placed here by Alexander 
Grant, Portclair, in memory of his brother, Patrick Grant, who 
departed this life on 31st December, 1789, aged 33 years." 

My next contribution is of a different character. It also, 
however, possesses elements of the touching interest of sadness. 
It tells, in beautiful and glowing words, a tale of disappointed 
love — "the old, old story, yet always new." In one of the 
appendices to Mr W. Mackay's " Urquhart and Glenmoristou," 
reference is made to a " character" frequenting the parish in 
olden times known as "An t-amadan ruisgte" — the nude fool — 
who, judging from the fragments of poetry ascribed to him, 
and still sung by the older generation, possessed poetic powers 
of no mean order. The best known of his compositions, so far as 
I am aware, is the one which follows : — 

Gur a mor mo chilis mhulaid 

Mun ni nach urra mi inns', 
Luidh sachd air mo chridhe, 

Nach tog fiodhall na piob ; 
'S cha dean lighichean feum domh 

Na dad fo n' ghrein ach aon ni — 
Gu'm faicinn mo cheud-ghradh. 

*S mi 'call mo cheille ga 'dith ! 

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Unpublished Poetry and Folklore, 25 

Cha 'n 'eil an cadal, an cadal, 

Cha 'n 'eil an cadal an dan, 
nach fhaic mi mo leannan, 

An r\bhinn fharasda, thlath ; 
Tha da ghruaidh mar an caorrunn, 

'S a alios mar fhaoilinn air charn ; 
'S 's e 'bin 'sealltuinn na t-aodann, 

A bheireadh 'ghaoil dhomh mo shlaint'. 

Innsidh mise mu m' leannan — 

Gruaidh than' dhearg mar ros, 
Suil ghorm fo chaol mhala, 

Slios mar eaT air an Ion ; 
Benl is binn' na na teudan, 

Fait mar chleitean dhe 'n 6r, 
Calpa cruinn a* cheum eutrom, 

A thogadh m' eislean 's mo bhron. 

Tha mo shuilean a' sileadh 

A cheart cho mire ri allt, 
Tha mo bheul air fas tioram, 

'S tha mo bhil' air fas mall ; 
Tha mo chridh' air a reubadh, 

'S gach ball a r^ir sin de m ; chleibh, 
'n a dhealaieh mo leannan 

Rium aig cladach Portrigh. 

'S gur a diiimbaeh mi m' pharantan, 

5 S air mo chairdean gu leir, 
Nach do leig iad learn posadh 

Na cailinn oig u b' f hearr beus ; 
'S e thubhairt m' at hair 's mo mhathair — 

Fhir gun naire gun cheill, 
'S ann a thoill thu do shracadh 

As an aite le srein. 

'S ged a chuir iad mi 'n Olaind'. 

Cha 'n 'eil se61 orm, 's cha bhi ; 
'Nuair a shuidheas mi m' onar 

Bidh mi smaointeachd na m' chridh* 
Ged bhiodh agam mar stdras 

Na bheil a dh'dr aig an righ, 
B' fhearr bhi c6mhla ri m' Sheonaid 

Ann an seomar leinn fhin. 

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26 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Ach na 'n deanadh sinn pdsadh 

Cha bhiodh do she6mraichean gann, 
Bhiodh do chrodh mun na cromtean, 

'S t'eich air lointean nam fang ; 
'S mi gun deanadh dhuit brbgan, 

Bileach, boidheacha, teann — 
Do chuid core agus eorna, 

'S cha bhiodh storas dhuinn gann. 

'S i so a' bhliadhna chuir as domh, 

'S a thug am fait 'bharr mo chinn, 
A' chuid a dh' fhuirich air glasadh, 

J S a' falbh na shad leis a ghaoith ; 
'S cha dean lighichean feuin domh, 

Na dad fo n' ghrein ach aon n\ — 
Gu'm faicinn mo ch^ud-ghradh, 

'S mi 'call mo cheille ga dith. 

I am aware that another version of this song exists, containing a 
few more verses, which, however, are pretty much repetitions, if 
not indeed part of an entirely different song, as I should be dis- 
posed to think they are. One somewhat suggestive difference 
occurs which may be worth referring to : the line rendered 
above — 

" 'S ged a chuir iad mi 'n Olaind', 

is given — 

" 'S ged a chuir iad mi 'n Oil-thigh." 
There may be something in this. 

Little is known concerning the author of this passionate lyric, 
except what is to be gathered from the eftusion itself and some 
vague traditions. He is said to have been a native of Skye — 
another tradition says a native of Gairloch — born and brought up 
in good circumstances. As the story goes, he appears to have 
fallen deeply in love with his father's serving maid — some say his 
father's dairymaid — a pretty Highland lassie, whom he calls Jessie 
in his song. His passion was warmly reciprocated, and the 
attachment having aroused the suspicion of the young man's 
parents, they dismissed the girl. She soon afterwards died, 
leaving her heart-broken lover in utter misery. It is related 
further that, in his wild despair, he one day visited her grave to 
shed tears of sorrow over her memory, and, while there, that he 
was seized by his relations, stripped of his clothes, and lashed 

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Unpublished Poetry and Folklore. 27 

with reins. Ever afterwards he could suffer no clothing, and, his 
mind giving way, he left his native place and wandered from country 
to country during the rest of his life. People are still living who 
remember having seen him carried from house to house on a 
blanket. It was his pastime it is said, when left alone to tear such 
clothing as might be put about him to pieces with his teeth. When 
being supplied with meals, he, it is also said, was in the habit 
of asking, as his door was being opened — " An tu a th' aim a 
Sheonaid ? " (" Is that you, Jessie ? ") It may be worth semark- 
ing that the above piece very much confirms these few particulars 
of the author's life, and suggests more. Let it be supposed that 
he, as the song says, was sent to Holland, or to a University, 
in order to forget his sweetheart. It is not impossible that he 
would have parted with her at Portree as mentioned ; nor is it 
improbable that he would have taken an early opportunity of 
returning to his native country. In the interval, however, Jessie 
may have died; and on discovering the occurrence of the sad 
event, he may, naturally enough, have paid a visit to her 

Let me now submit some verses to y« u bearing on an institu- 
tion at one time all important in the Highlands — the airidh. Than 
the circumstances in which the Highlanders of old lived while in 
the midst of such ideally pastoral conditions as their life on the 
sheilings essentially afforded none more productive of poetic 
sentiment can well be imagined. It is not too much to say now 
that passing a considerable portion of every year in such condi- 
tions must have tended to render the Highlander the contemplative, 
freedom-loving being he is. Around airidh-life are at anyrate to 
be found many of the sweetest and most perfect lyrics in the 
Gaelic language, which, from the peculiarly pure and elevating 
character of their sentiment, cannot be too well known. I should 
like, some time in the near future, to see a popular collection of 
tiiridh songs available. The following verses appear to be of 
Perthshire nationality. They are well known in Glenmoriston. 
I do not remember having ever seen them in print : — 

Chunnacas gruagach 's an aonach 
'S gum bi gaolach na'm fear i. 
Chunnacas, etc. 

'S a chiall ! gur trom 'luidh an aois ortn 
O'na dh' fhaod mi bha ma' ri. 

'S a chiall, etc. • 

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28 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S trie 's gnr minig a bha mi 
'S tu air airidh 'm Braigh Raineach. 
'S trie 's gur, etc. 

Air chnocan an easain 
Far 'n do leig sinu ar n' anail, 
Air chnocan, etc. 

Ann am bothan an t-sugraidh 
Gun ga 'dhunadh ach barrach. 
Ann am bothan, etc. 

Bhiodh mo bheul ri d' bheul cubhra' 
'S bhiodh a ruin mo lamh tharad. 
Bhiodh mo bheul, etc. 

'S thigeadh fiadh anns a bhuirich 
Ga ar dusgadh le langan ; 
'S thigeadh, etc. 

Boc biorach an t-seilich, 
Agu8 eilid an daraich. 
Boc biorach, etc. 

Bhiodh a' chubhag 's an smudan 
A' seinn ciuil dhuinn air chrannaibh, 
Bhiodh a, etc. 

'S cha 'n 'eil i 'n Cill-Fhaolain 
Bean aogais mo leannain. 
'S cha *n 'eil, etc. 

Air ghilead, air bhoidhchead ; 
Air ehoiread 's air ghlainead. 
Air ghilead, etc. 

Bean shiobhalta, shuairce, 
'S i gun ghruaim air a mala. 
Bean shiobhalta, etc. 

Tha do bheul mar na iosan, 
'S tha do phog mar an caineal. 
Tha do bheul, etc. 

Tha do ghruaidh mar an caorrunn, 
% 'S tha do thaobh jnar an eala. 
Tha do ghruaidh, etc. 

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unpublished Poetry and Folklore. 29 

As part of this song a few other verses are sung, which seem, 
however, to be a " reply," though even as such they do not 
appear consistent. In olden times, it may be noticed, it was by 
no means uncommon for lovers to carry on a sort of corres- 
pondence in poetry, somewhat as is now done in letters, but 
much more pronounced and passionate — probably because the fear 
of breach-of-promise experiences did not disturb. This maiden's 
"reply" — if such it can be taken to be — throws some very sug- 
gestive light upon the social differences which existed at the time 
she composed it. It would seem to more or less reflect dis- 
paragingly upon the women of the airidh. It says : — 

'S i mo mhuine 'rinn m' fhoghlum, 
'S ciamar dh' fhaoduinn 'bhi ni' chaile. 
'S i mo 'mhuime, etc. 

'S nach do chuir i riamh buarach 
Air bo ghuaillfhionn na bhallach. 
'S nach do chuir, etc. 

'S ann a bhiodh i ri fuaghal 
Ma' ri gruagaichean glana. 
'S ann a bhiodh, etc. 

5 S 's ann a bhiodh i ri leintean 
'S a si6r chur ghreis orra 'dh' fheara'. 
'S 's ann a bhiodh, etc. \ 

Ann an uinneagan riomhach 
A' cur an t s\od' air na banua'. 
Ann an uinneagan, etc. 

Gloomy death sometimes visited the Highland sheiling, and 
under circumstances which naturally appealed to the Muse for 
expression. The following poem records the accidental death of a 
young woman by her lover's gun going off while he was playing 
with her in the little bothy. 1 leave it to tell its own tale : — 

A fhleasgaich is cumaire 

Gumma' mi 'n de thu, 

'Direadh a' mhullaich 

'S do ghunn' air dheagh ghteusadh. 

Hoirionn 'us 0, 

Hi hurabhaidh G, 

Hi hoirainn 'us oro ho. 

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30 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'Direadh a* mhullaich 

'S do ghunn' air dheagh ghleusadh ; 

'S t' iosgaidean geala 

Fo bhreacan an fh&lidh. 

T iosgaidean geala 
Fo bhreacan an fheilidh ; 
Ach dh' fhag thu 'ghruagach 
Dhonn gun eirigh. 

Dh' fhag thu 'ghruagach 
Dhonn gun eirigh ; 
Dearg fhuil a cridh' 
Ann am broil leach a leine. 

Dearg fhuil a cridh' 
Ann am broilleach a leine ; 
Tbeirig-sa dhachaidh 
'Us innis mar dh' &rich. 

Theirig-sa dhachaidh, 
'Us innis mar dh' &rich ; 
Innis do 'mathair, 
Nach caraich i breid oirr'. 

Innis do 'mathair 
Nach caraich i breid oirr' ; 
'S innis do h-athair 
Nach tar e gu 'reitinn. 

Innis do h-athair 
Nach tar e gu 'reitinn ; 
'S innis do 'braithrean 
Gur craiteach an sgeula. 

Innis do 'braithrean 
Gur craiteach an sgeula — 
'Bhanarach bhuidhe 
Na 'luidh' air an deile. 

'Bhanarach bhuidhe 
Na 'luidh' air an deile ; 
'Mhulachag 's a' mheag 
Mar 'dh' fhag i fhein i. 

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Unpublished Poetry and Folklore. 31 

'Mhulachag 's a' mheag 
Mar 'dh' f hag i fhein i ; 
'N t-im air a' mhuighe 
Mar 'dh' fhag i 'n de e. 

'N t-im air a' mhuighe 
Mar 'dh' fhag i 'n de e ; 
'M buachaille galach, 
'S a' bhanarach d^urach. 

'M buachaille galach, 
'S a' bhanarach deurach ; 
'S a bho mhaol dhonn 
A sior gheumnaich. 

Another very fine song lamenting the death of a young woman 
by her lover's dirk, under similar circumstances, will be found in 
Vol. XII. of the Celtic Magazine. 

Notwithstanding that a very considerable number of songs in 
praise of whisky is already abroad, let me give the world 
one more, which, I think, has never yet received pub- 
licity. It is the composition of one of Macphadruig's herds 
who lived a few generations ago. It shows us how the herds — at 
any rate occasionally — passed their spare time. The words are still 
suug to a stirring air : — 

• Gur trie a' falbh na Sroine mi 
A chuideachd air na smeoraichean ; 
'S e sid a dh' fhag cho eolach mi 
Air stopan na te ruaidhe. 

Tha buaidh air an uisge-bheath', 
Tha buaidh air nach coir a chleith ; 
Tha buaidh air an uisge-bheath' ; 
'S co math teth 'us fuar e, 

Gur math an am an earraich e, 
'S cha mhiosa 'n am na gaillioinn e ; 
'S e 'n cu am fear nach ceannaich e, 
'S e 'n t-umaidh dh' fhanas bhuaithe. 

'S math 's aithne dhomh co 'dh' 61as e — 
Luchd fearainn saor 'us dr6bhairean, 
Ceannaichean 'us osdairean, 
'S an seol'dair cha d' thug fuath dha. 

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32 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ui8ge-beatha 'cheatlain, 

Le siucair geal na chuapan anu ; 

'S aim learn bu mhiann bhi 'n taice ris, 

'S e 'dol na 'lanair uaine. 

The " te ruadh" (red-haired lady) referred to was the mistress 
of an establishment in the vicinity of the herd's grounds, 
where he and other knowing ones could procure "a drop on the 
sly." This little song shows clearly enough that the visitors knew 
how to enjoy their dram fully. In this connection let me quote 
a verse, sung, I think, to the tune of "The ewie wi' the crookit 
horn," in which the " whisky-still," onse so common in the High- 
lands, is described with considerable allegorical aptness — 

A* chaora crom a th' air an leachduinn, 
Bhleothnadh i pinnt agus seipean ; 
'S chuireadh i le seid a sroin 
An gille-craigean air a dhruim. 

I have, however, heard other interpretations put upon these lines, 
of whieh more than one rendering seems to occur. 

I will now entertain you with a song of a character which will 
probably suggest to you a few others of a similar kind. It is a 
production of womanly love, disappointed feelings and pride. 
When the maidens of the present enlightened age lose their 
-charmers, they either bring them to a court of law or leave them 
severely alone. When the young ladies of the olden time lost 
their sweethearts they adopted the much more classical course of 
giving embodiment to their feelings in verse. What the new 
woman will do in this direction I am not here called upon either 
to discuss or to guess. By the following composition, the 
.authoress, Margaret Macintyre, not so very long ago dead, showed 
how she felt under the smart of unfulfilled promises. She goes on 
to say, addressing her lost lover — 

Thug thu corr 'us raithe bhliadhna 
'S tu ga m' iarruidh air mo chairdean ; 
'S o nach d' fhuair thu na bha mhiann ort 
Chaidh tu 'dh' iasgach sios am Bana. 

Char thu, char thu mi a dh' aindeoin, 
'S cha dean aithreachas bonn sta dhomh. ; 
'S o nach dean 's ann 's fheudar lubadh 
Leis a' chuis a bhi mar tha i. 

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Unpublished Poetry and Folklore. 33 

Tha thu dileas dhomh mar charaid, 
Tha thu dealaidh dhomh mar nabuidh ; 
Tha thu do leannan dhomh os 'n iosal, 
'S o nach fhiach thu rirni thu m' fhagail. 

Cha 'n 'eil ni a dheanadh te 'ile, 
Ris nach cuirinn fhe*in mo lamh dhuit ; 
Nighinn 'us dh' fhuaighinn do leine, 
'S leiginn do spr&dh air an airidh. 

Tha mi cho math ris na fhuair thu 

Ged nach 'eil mo bhuail' air airidh ; 

Tha mi 'Chloinn-an-t-Shaoir o 'n Chruachan 

'S a dh' f trior f huil uasal Tigh Mhic-Phadruig. 

Chaidh tu 'dh' iarraidh nighean Studdart, 
'S tha i leamhach buidhe grannda ; 
'S cha 'n 'eil aon a tha mu'n cuairt di 
Nach 'eil suarrach air a nadur. 

Ach na'm bidhinn-sa cho beairteach 
Ris an te a ghlac air lamh thu, 
Bhidhinn sinte 'nochd na d' achlais, 
'S ise 'dearras ma' ri 'mathair. 

I will now quote four stanzas of what is supposed to be a lost 
song, by Mhiri Nigh J n Alasdair Ruaidh. These verses are well 
known in Glenmoriston, where the following tradition is told 
concerning them. — I submit the story for what it is worth, and hi 
the hope that it will arrest interest and receive some attention, 
with a view to the recovery of the whole song. According to this 
story there seems to have been some mystery about Mary's 
paternity. She appears to have been known as the daughter of 
Alexander Macleod, son of Alasdair Ruadh, who was, according 
to Mackenzie's biographical sketch ("Beauties of Gaelic poetry"), 
" a descendant of the chief of that clan." It is said, however, to 
have transpired, when she was pretty well advanced in years, 
that she was the daughter of a distinguished Macdonald of the 
time; and that when she discovered the fact herself she 
composed a song, the following verses of which are all that I have 
ever heard : — 

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34 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Thoir tasgaidh bhuam 'an diomhaireachd 
chionn an fhad so 'bhliadhnaichean — 
Cha 'n airgiod glas 's cha 'n iarunn e 
Ach Ridire glic riasanach 
'Fhuair meas 'us misneachd iarlaichean ; 
'S o'n 'fhuair mi 'nis gu'm iarraidh e 
Gu'n riaraich mi Sir D6mhnull. 
'S o'n fhuair, etc. 

Mo chuid nihdr gun airceas thu, 
Mo chleasan snuaghmhor, dealbhach thu ; 
Mo ghibht ro phriseil ainmeil thu ; 
O'n chuimhnich mi air seanchas ort, 
Be 'n dichiumhn' mar a h-ainmicht thu ; 
'S na'n leiginn bhuam air dearmad thu 
Gu dearbha cha b'e 'choit e. 
'S na 'n leiginn, etc. 

'S gur craobh de'n abhall phriseil thu, 
De 'n mheas is blasda brldhealachd, 
'S is dosraich an am cinntinne, 
'S a' choill 's uach biodh na crionagan 
De 'n fhior fhuil uasal fhionanach ; 
'S gu'm bi mi dhoibh cho dichiollach 
'S gu 'n inns' mi 'nis' na 's eol domh. 
'S gu'm bi mi. etc. 

Thig sliochd mh6r Mhic Cathain leat 
'S an dream rioghail Leathanach, 
'Bha uasal, uaibhreach, aighearach, 
'S bu chruadalach ri labhairt riu 
Fir Chinntlre 's Lathuirne ; 
'S gur mairg luchd B^urla bhraitheadh tu 
'S nam maithibh sin 'an toir ort. 
'S gur mairg, etc. 

I have left myself little time to go to any extent into the folk- 
lore of Glenmoriston. . This will form the subject of a separate 
paper at some future date. I will give you, however, the local 
version of a Glenmoriston folklore tale of some interest, and of 
which a few variants are to be met with. This is the story of 
Cailleach a' Chraich (the Hag of the Craach) : — In olden times 
almost every Highland hamlet had its hag, or "cailleach." These 
extraordinary beings — whatever they were — according to a 

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Unpublished Poetry and Folklore. 35 

common tradition, all frequented the wildest, weirdest, and most 
solitary parts of the districts where they were to be found, but 
yet very often such places as drovers, packmen, and travellers 
generally had from time to time to pass. An interesting feature 
of the belief in them was that while some of them were considered 
inimical, particularly to members of certain clans, others were 
looked upon as friendly. The parish of Urquhart and Glen- 
moriston, about a hundred years ago or so, contained no less than 
five or six of those " cailleachs," most prominent among whom was 
Cailleach a? Chraich (the Hag of the Craach). The Craach is a 
wild high-lying district about half-way between Corriemony and 
Achnanconeran, in the hills of Glenmoriston. Here by the side of 
Loch-a'-Chraich (the Lake of the Craach), and under the shade of 
Creagan-a'-Chraich (the Rock of the Craach), this wicked old hag 
is said to have for years met and molested and murdered many a 
weary wayfarer. Like most similar regions the " Craach " always 
had an evil reputation. Numerous stories are still told thoughout 
the parish as to loss of life at this place under " uncanny ,; circum- 
stances. One man of the name of Ala&dair Cutach (Short Sandy), 
while running after a young mare that had escaped from Coire- 
Dho, was lost sight of at the Craach by his companions, who were not 
so swift of foot as he; and though searched for diligently for days, 
he was never found, alive or dead. Some time after, it is told, 
another man was lost at this same place, and nothing was known 
concerning his disappearance until his "ghost" spoke to a friend, 
describing the circumstances of his death at the Craach as 
unspeakably awful, and adding that none ever saw such a fearful 
sight there as he since Alasdair Cutach went amissing. 

According to one tradition Cailleach a* Chraich's pet aversion 
was the Clan Macmillan. There is some evidence, however, to 
show that members of the Clan Macdonald were particularly the 
objects of her malice and spite. In an old song one of them says 
regarding her : — ♦ 

"Cha teid mi an rathad 
A dh' oidhche na 'latha ; 
Cha 'n 'eil deagh bhean an tighe 
'S a' Chraach. 

" Tha i trom air mo chinneadh 
Ga 'marbhadh 's ga milleadh ; 
'S gu'n cuireadh Dia spiorad 
Ni 's fhearr ann." 

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36 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

(I shall not go the way 
By night or by day \ 
She's not the best of good-wives 
That's at the Craach. 

She's hard on my clan — 
Killing, destroying our men ; 
0, that God would place a kindlier 
Spirit yonder). 

This remarkable member of the hag world appears to have had 
a peculiar way of bringing about the death of her victims. After 
struggling with a man for a time, she usually deprived him of his 
bonnet, in which she danced furiously until a hole was made in it, 
when, as common belief says, he dropped down dead. On one 
occasion she accosted a man belonging to Inverwick, Glen- 
moriston, and gave him a most severe handling, but, with the 
assistance of a faithful dog, he got out of her clutches. However, 
he lay ill for some months aftewards, while the poor dog was 
almost flayed in the encounter with the " cailleach." On another 
occasion a Macdonald from Glengarry was met by her as he was 
passing the notorious " Craach." After a brief struggle, she ran 
off with his head-gear. Believing that his life depended upon its 
recovery before she could make a hole in it he pursued her. A 
fierce fight ensued, with the result that in the end Macdonald had 
the best of the situation, but not until he had buried his dagger 
in the body of the " cailleach." In another version of this tale 
it is stated that Macdonald merely recovered his bonnet from the 
hag, and that she told, him, as he was running out of her sight, 
that he would die at a certain hour on a certain day within the 
year, which is said and believed to have actually taken place. 

26th MARCH, 1896. 

At the meeting this evening, Dr Samuel Rutherford Macphail, 
M.D., Medical Superintendent, Derby Borough Asylum, was 
elected an ordinary member of the Society. Thereafter Mr A. 
Macbain, M.A., read a paper contributed by Mr W. G. Stuart, 
entitled " Stiathspey Raid to Elgin in 1820." The paper was as. 
follows : — 

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Strathspey Raid to Elgin. 37 


Elgin and the rich agricultural plains of Moray afforded 
abundant spoil to Highland caterans and rievers in the days when 

" Sweeping faulds and tooming of the glen 
Had still been held the deeds of honest men." 

On the 3rd of July, 1402, Alexander Macdonald, third son of the 
Lord of the Isles, with a band of his many followers, plundered 
the Cathedral, as well as many of the private houses, and returned 
home rich with the spoils of the burgh. Nearly three hundred 
years later, in 1691, the Clan Grant organised a cattle-lifting 
expedition, and made a descent into the valley of Dallas and the 
neighbouring districts of Pluscarden and Duffus. Sir Robert 
^Gordon of Gordonstoun, on hearing of the raid, gathered a few 
of his retainers and overtook the Strathspey men as they were 
driving the creack on the heights above Knockando. Sir Robert 
•demanded by what authority they acted in plundering and robbing 
the tenantry under cloud of night. " By order of the Laird of 
"Grant," replied the leader. t% I cannot believe that," said Sir 
Robert, " unless you show me his writing." " Here it is, then," 
again answered the leader of the expedition, handing a letter to 
the Baronet, who immediately turned his horse, rode off to Edin- 
burgh, produced the letter, and obtained decree againot the Laird 
of Grant for the whole amount of his losses. 

It was one thing, however, to obtain a decree, and quite 
another matter to enforce it ; and a Sheriff-officer entering Strath- 
spey in those days on such business embarked on a very dangerous 
enterprise, as Gordonstoun's unfortunate messenger very soon 
found out. In Dunbar's " Social Life in Former Days," there is 
a copy of the complaint made by the messenger in question 
regarding the hard usage he met with at the hands of the Strath- 
spey men : — 

" I, Hugh Thaine, messenger, hireby declaire that I am not at 
this tyme able to goe the length of Edinburgh, by reasone of 
sickness and unabilitie of body, Uaveing beine now sex or seven 
weeks werry unabell, by reasone of the hard usage I mett with in 
Strathspey, in the wood of Abernethie ; and therefor I doe heirby 
dyser and give full power, to Sir Robert Gordone of Goidonstoun 
(who did imploy me about executing of Councell letters in that 
place) to suplicat the Lords of ther Majesties Privie Concill, or 
any other of thir Majesties Judges to whom it may belonge, that 

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38 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

the saide Lords or Judges may, in ther prudence, apoyant some 
way for reddressing and punishing the abuses comitted against the 
law and government upon my persone, and those in my company, 
which wer as followith, viz., I (having upon the fyftinth of 
October last citted some witnesses, and upon the sixteenth thereof 
citted the Laird of Grant ; and upon the seventinth thereof, be 
eight houres in the morning, as I went about three myles from 
Ballichastell, towards Culnakyle, both the Lairds houses, at a 
place called Craigmuir, at the wood of Abernethie), and three men, 
called Peter Morrison, in Fochabrs ; John M'Edwart, in Glen- 
rinnes, and Alex. Bogtoun in Khieclehik, that were with me were 
seized upon by a pearty of armed men who most maisterfullie and 
violently struck me with their gunnes ; gave me a stobbe with a 
durke in my shoulder, and a stroak with my owen sword ; robbed 
me of my money, my linnens, some cloathes, my sword and pro- 
vision ; and of the principal Councell letters many coppies thereof 
and uther papers ; then bound me and my company and always 
threatened me with pressnt death ; for executing the foresaid 
letters, and examined me on oath whither any of those men did 
belonge to Gordonstoun that they might instantly kill him and 
offred his liffe to anyone of our companie that wold hange the rest 
of us ; thereafter laid us down and secured us with horse-roapes 
on the ground within the wood, wher we leay in cold, hunger, 
and great miseries for four days and three nights, threatened 
hourly with present death. My conditione of healthe is welle 
knowen to the minister and neighbours in the paroch wher I live 
and may be atested by them if neid require. In testimony of the 
verity heirof, I have written and subscribed ther presents with 
my hand at Fochabers the fourt day of December jajvcj nynty one 
yeires (1691)." 

Although the messenger was " thus badly treated, it was not 
with the object of avoiding payment, but rather to show their 
resentment at the means employed. The Laird of Grant at this 
time was Sir Ludovic, who with his son, the Brigadier, ruled at 
Castle Grant. The Brigadier was one of the foremost men in 
Scotland in his day, distinguished in the camp, and the Court, 
and a bosom friend of John — the great Duke of Argyll." The 
Knight of Gordonstoun was therefore summoned to come in 
person to Castle Grant and receive the full amount of his claim. 
Sir Robert, on entering the Castle, was received with every mark 
of respect. On receiving the money he immediately handed it to 
the Brigadier, saying, "This is a present from Robert of Gordon- 
stoun, and I will see my tenants righted myself." The Brigadier 

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Strathspey Raid to Elgin. 39 

stood up, and after warmly thanking Sir Robert for his chivalrous 
generosity, said, " If ever I become Laird of Grant, I will gar the 
rash bush keep the cow and the pin in the cot door the sheep in a* 
time coming " — a promise which, from that day to this, has been 
faithfully kept by all the chiefs and clansmen of Strathspey. 

But the Strathspey raid of 1820 must not be placed in the 
same category as an ordinary cattle-lifting expedition. It is of 
interest historically, being the last rising of a clan in Scotland ; 
and although the event happened 76 years ago, almost in the 
middle of this 19th century— called by its critics the utilitarian 
age — the expedition presents features of loyalty and devotion to 
chief and clan as romantic in their character as anything that 
happeaed in the golden age of chivalry and romance. 

The country lying between the two Craigellachies has now 
been in the peaceful possession of the Grants for over 500 years ; 
and though more exposed than most Highland districts to the 
peaceful and more commercial invasion of the Lowlander, yet 
76 years ago the Highlanders of Strathspey were primitive and 
unsophisticated to a degree of which those who have known them 
only during the last 30 years or so can form but a very faint 
conception. The late minister of Abernethy, Rev. Mr Stewart, 
used to tell a quaint story of an old poacher and smuggler who 
died in my own day. James had built himself a bothy under the 
shadow of Cairngorm, and with his musket bade defiance to all 
intruders. When over 80 years of age he had to wrestle with the 
grim king of terrors ; and the minister, hearing of his illness, 
visited the old man and reminded him of his spiritual duties, 
saying, " You know there are just two places beyond the grave, to 
either, of which all the human race must go." "Well," replied 
James, " I'll tell you the plain truth about myself. In my young 
days I had a lot of companions, and we were always together. I 
was wi' them at Baiteal nam Bat' (Battle of the Sticks) in Elgin, 
and I was in the middle of the big fight at Tomintoul market. 
Och, och ! many a spree and fight and ploy we had ; but now 
they are all gone before me, I feel gey lonely and forsaken now, 
and when I die I would just like to join my old companions 
wherever they are." Surely this will parallel the exclamation of 
Bardolph on hearing of Falstaffs death, "Would I were with him 
wheresoever he is." 

In the country of the Grants, chieftainship, though legally 
deprived of its ancient and arbitrary authority, was neither 
forgotten nor disowned. Its spirit and all its finer features 
survived, and to a great extent regulated the relations between 

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40 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

landlord and tenant. The chief was still the father of his clan ; 
and his tenantry showed anything but a disposition on their part 
to sever their allegiance. For generations — and it is the same 
still — it was a point of honour with the I^airds of Grant never to 
remove an old tenant, and a list of the tacksmen's names in Strath- 
spoy reminds us of one of the early chapters in 1st Chronicles, 
where son succeeded father in endless succession. In the days of 
the clan feuds the Grants, owing to the position of their country, 
their strength, and unity, managed to hold their own without 
having to fight their neighbours. Yet in the hour of our country's 
danger, there was no lack of courage and military spirit among the 
men of Strathspey. In the years 1793-1794, when the " good Sir 
James " 

" Kept his castle in the North 
Hard by the thundering Spey, 
And a thousand vassals dwelt around, 
All of his lineage they," 

General Stewart . of Garth tells us that Sir James raised the 
Strathspey Fencibles all from his own estates, and within two 
months of the declaration of war with France the regiment was 
assembled at Forres, being so complete in numbers that 70 men 
were discharged as supernumerary. As soon as Sir James Grant's 
Fencibles were embodied he made further proposals to raise a 
regiment for present service, and accordingly the 97th Regiment 
of the line, consisting of 1000 men, all from the Grant estates, 
with the exception of two or three companies, was formed. From 
the parish of Abernethy, in particular, a large number joined the 
army, and during the Bonaparte wars the military spirit ki this 
parish was kept brightly burning by the pulpit ministrations of 
Rev. John Grant, popularly known as the "minister of the 
Gazette." Mr Grant, before settling down as minister of Aber- 
nethy, was for some years in the army as chaplain to a Highland 
regiment, and he took a passionate interest in the loyalty and mili- 
tary spirit of his flock. When many of them were away fighting the 
battles of their country, he used to allay the anxiety of their 
relatives at home by reading the " Gazette " newspaper to his con- 
gregation before dismissing them on Sabbath. After the downfall of 
Napoleon, a great many pensioners returned to Strathspey to tell 
a younger generation of the battles and sieges in which they had 
been engaged. In 1820, for example, there were 22 half -pay 
officers living in Strathspey, besides a large number of discharged 
non-commissioned officers and privates. It was at this time, then, 

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Strathspey Haid to Elgin. 41 

when the French war just over had fostered a lighting spirit among 
all classes of the people, that the death of George the Third 
caused a General Election, and the Goddess of Discord, in the form 
of Politics, seized the opportunity of throwing her apple among 
the Electors of Elgin, and setting them all by the ears. 

Prior to the Reform Bill, the group of burghs consisting of 
Elgin, Cullen, Banff, Inverury, and Kintore, sent a member 
to Parliament, the Town Council of each burgh choosing a dele- 
gate to represent the community, and each burgh, in its turn, 
being the returning burgh where the other delegates met, and 
where the election was made. 

The family of Grant, for nearly 100 years, possessed a para- 
mount influence in Elgin politics ; and Cullen, since the accession 
of the family to the Seafield estates and title, was also theirs. 
Banff, though now and then a little erratic, was generally true to 
the Duff interest ; while Inverury and Kintore were entirely under 
Lord Kintore's influence. It was one thing, however, to command 
a burgh and another thing to retain the command. The Magis- 
trates, Councillors, and Deacons had to be constantly feasted, 
petted, and favoured. The good Sir James Grant of Grant was, 
according to General Stewart, the best patron Elgin tradesmen 
were ever blessed with, for most of them were mainly supported by 
his liberality and bounty. When resident at Grant Lodge, in the 
immediate vicinity of Elgin, the parish ministers, elders, Magis- 
trates, and Town Council were generally invited to their Sunday 
dinner with him. • When Sir James died he left a family of two 
sons and three daughters? — Lewis Alexander and Francis William, 
aud the daughters, Ann, Margaret, and Penuel. Owing to the 
delicate state of his brother's health, Colonel Francis was really 
the laird from the time of his father's death, and during the long 
period of 40 years he was unwearied in his efforts to promote the 
best interests of every one on his estates. He was also animated 
by the same desire as his father before him to cultivate the friend- 
ship of the citizens of Elgin, but as it was in Ossianic times — 

" In Alpin, in the days of the heroes, Fingal neglected to call 
some of the Fingalians to the feast he gave at Druim Dialg. The 
proud rage of the heroes was aroused." 

On the occasion of Prince Leopold's visit to Elgin, Colonel Francis 
Grant, with the Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council, were in 
waiting at the town's marches to confer on him the freedom of the 
city, after which Colonel Grant invited the Provost and Town 
Council to dine with the Prince at Grant Lodge, while the 

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42 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

inhabitants of the burgh were feasted at a free banquet on the 
lawn. Owing to a mistake of the Town-Clerk, Patrick Duff, who 
issued the invitations, the Deacons of the Trades, who were often 
joined to the Council, and possessed great influence among the 
Freemen of the Burgh, were overlooked, and, thinking themselves 
insulted, would neither take bite nor sup. 

When Colonel Grant heard of this he went himself personally 
to the Deacons and made an ample apology. He assured them it 
was entirely a mistake of the Town-Clerk, and he trusted they 
would pass it over. He asked them to partake of the entertain- 
ment provided, and, if not satisfied with that, to go to any house 
or inn in the city, and regale themselves with the best of meat 
and drink, and he would pay all expenses. " No, no," they 
answered, " he had looked over them before the Prince, and the 
King might come in the cadger's way yet." They could feast at 
their own expense. Accordingly they adjourned with their friends 
to the Trades' Hall, sent for a cask of whisky, got uproariously 
drunk, and then proceeded to perambulate the streets, conducting 
themselves in a lawless and disorderly manner. This was the 
beginning of the rift which culminated in the raid of the High- 
landers later on. A slight somewhat similar in character a short 
time before resulted in the loss of the burgh of Inverury to the 
Kintore interest ; so that in 1820 the Earl of Fife had the com- 
mand of Banff and Inverury, and the Kintore and Seatield interest 
had Kintore and Cullen, while Elgin was supposed to be doubtful. 
To secure the Cathedral City then was the grand aim of both 

In the previous Parliament the sitting member was a Seatield 
nominee — Mr Robert Grant, afterwards Sir Rooert Graut, Governor 
of Bombay, and brother of Lord Glen dg. When he heard that 
he was to be opposed by General Duff, brother of Lord Fife, he 
got frightened, and declined to stand, and accepted an English 
burgh provided for him by the Government. The Kintore party 
then brought forward Mr Archibald Farquharsou of Finzean, a 
gentleman of very moderate ability, and quite unknown in the 
constituency. The traditions of both the Grants and the Kintores 
lay too much in the direction of Pope's axiom, that u whatever is, 
is right," to satisfy the aspirations of the more advanced electors ; 
while General Duff was supposed to be favourable to reform. It 
may be taken for granted that in these circumstances Lord Fife 
was not unwilling to take advantage of his opportunity to 
make himself popular to the citizens of Elgin. His lordship 
then was in the prime of life, gay, affable, and generous; 

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Strathspey Raid to tlgin. 43 

and these qualities soon made him very popular in Elgin. 
He frequently took up his abode in the town, and made 
himself acquainted with the Burgesses, their wives and daughters, 
loading them with gowns, bonnets, ribbons, shawls, and 
rings ; while he scattered money freely among the humbler 
classes — until, when he walked the streets, he was followed by a 
train of idlers singing his praises, and every door and window was 
filled with maidens and matrons whose devotion was rewarded by 
a ring or a silk gown, while the poor husbands and fathers had no 
rest or peace unless they supported the gay and gallant Earl. The 
Town Council of those days consisted of 17 members ; the Council 
electing the new when their year of office was expired. A political 
agent who could contrive to keep nine good men and true in the 
Council was sure of electing a delegate favourable to the interest 
of his party when a general election should come. 

There was a good deal of canvassing on both sides ere it was 
known which party had the majority, some declaring openly for 
the Grant party, others for Lord Fife, while some would not 
declare themselves. This, with the absence of the Provost, Sir 
Archibald Dunbar, in Edinburgh, and one of the Councillors, 
Bailie Innes, professing to stand neutral, kept the inhabitants in 
a state of anxious suspense. The Grants feared that the Burgh, 
and with it the election, should be lost, for the Duffs canvassed 
with such success that they prevailed on seven to declare for 
General Duff; so that the state of the parties was understood to 
stand eight for the Grant interest and seven for the Fife party. 
The great object then of tho Fife party was to bring over one of 
the majority to the other side. Every form of bribery was tried, 
but as yet unsuccessfully. As soon as the Provost returned he 
was petitioned by 200 burgesses to support General Duff, but he 
refused to have the petition presented to him, and remained firm 
in his allegiance to the Grants. 

Party feeling reached a white h^at when it was rumoured that 
the Grants, fearing the fate of their cause, had endeavoured in the 
drad of night to kidnap Lewis Anderson and James Culbard, two 
^ Lord Fife's supporters. To steal a Councillor and send him out 
of the way, to lock up a poor Bailie in defiance to all law and 
justice, was a rough-and-ready method of defeating an opponent 
joften resorted to in the electioneering contests of a past genera- 
tion ; and, curiously enough, however innocent the Grant party 
may have been of man-stealing designs on this occasion, it is quite 
c ertain that they employed a somewhat similar stratagem to 
e nsure the election of their Chief seventy years before. At that 

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44 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

time the proprietor of Kinsteary opposed Sir Ludovic Grant of 
Grant as a candidate for the representation of Elgin. The High- 
landers of Strathspey, indignant that any Lowland er should 
presume to compete with their Chief, the Laird of Grant, came in 
detached parties to the neighbourhood of Elgin, where they were 
seen loitering about for days. When any of them was questioned 
as to their business they always pretended to be looking for a 
" beastie cattle that they lost." After watching every movement 
of their destined prey for a week, they at last seized a favourable 
opportunity, threw a plaid over Kinsteary's head, and hoodwinked 
his companions in the san e manner. The candidate for the burghs 
was detained among the hills of Strathspey until the laird of Grant 
was returned for the county. It is only justice to Sir Ludovic to 
mention that he was no party to this transaction, and it was many 
years after the event before he understood that the bold effort to 
ensure his election was made by his own clansmen. 

The attempt at kidnapping in 1820, if ever made, was not so 
successful, but it had the effect of rousing the ire of the Duff, 
who, baffled in their efforts to obtain a majority in the Counc, 
determined to retaliate on their opponents by kidnapping some f 
the Council favourable to the Grant interest. So, on the morning 
of Saturday, the 11th March, while a worthy Councillor, Mr 
Kobert Dick, was removing his shutters from his shop windows, 
some three or four men came behind him and put a handkerchief 
over his eyes, and carried him up Craig's Close, round by Batchen 
Lane, to Mackenzie's Inn, where a carriage was waiting. The 
Councillor's daughter, who was a party to the plot, and who 
received a present of two diamond rings from Lord Fife, came up 
with a change of linen for her father. He was then put into the 
carriage, and, guarded by a couple of men, was driven rapidly to 
Burghead, where a well-manned boat was in readiness to receive 
him. He was soon transported to the other side of the Firth, and 
landed at Dunrobin, where he was hospitably entertained by some 
Morayshire gentlemen who were in Sutherlandshire at this time. 
After a few days' enjoyment, the worthy Councillor and his escort 
started leisurely by land for Elgin, where they arrived too late for 
the election of a delegate. 

In like manner another Councillor, but of higher grade, being 
no less than a Bailie, and at the time acting; as Chief Magistrate, 
while taking a turn behind his garden, as was his usual custom in 
the morning, was seized by a party of Duffs, carried to Bishopmill, 
hurried into a chaise, conveyed in like manner to the seaside, where 
an open boat transported him and his captors to the same destina- 

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Strathspey Raid to Elgin. 45 

tion. But Bailie Taylor and his captors were not so fortunate as 
Councillor Dick ; a strong head wind had sprung up, they were all 
night on the sea in an open boat, and after having nearly lost their 
lives they managed, with the utmost difficulty, to get into the 
harbour • f Brora, after being 1 7 hours on the passage. His family 
did not know what had become of him, and his wife was in such a 
state of grief and anxiety that some of the Fife party who were in 
the secret had to tell her that her husband was safe. Bailie 
Taylor, like his companion in adversity, made his way home by 
land, and arrived in Elgin too late for the election of a delegate, 
Having in this summary fashion secured a majority in the Council 
favourable to the Fife interest, they immediately called a Council 
meeting, which the Grant party did not attend, and as the Town 
Clerk refused to appear or deliver up the keys of the Council 
Chamber, another Clerk was chosen for the time, and the following 
Wednesday was appointed for the election of a delegate. 

In consequence of the manoeuvres related above, Elgin was in 
a most excited state. Colonel Grant was in Italy, and the Earl of 
Seafield was living in retirement at Grant Lodge with his sisters, 
Lady Ann and Lady Penuel. The beautiful Lady Ann was a 
woman of commanding presence, great wit, and force of character, 
and for some <?ays previous to this she dared not appear on the 
streets without being jeered and insulted by the riff-raff of Elgin ; 
while in the evenings and at night, howling mobs surrounded the 
house and policies, singing rubbishy rhymes and uttering insulting 
cries, " Lord Fife for ever," and " May the diel pick out the 
Grant's liver." At last, so completely was Grant Lodge invested 
by the townspeople in the Fife interest, that no one was allowed 
to enter or leave the house. 

The high-spirited Lady Ann resented this disgraceful treat- 
ment, and between Saturday, 11th, and Sabbath morning, the 
12th March, 18*20, she contrived the escape of one of her grooms, 
who sprang on a horse, and galloped to Castle Grant, a distance 
of over 30 miles, in three hours, the noble steed, it is reported, 
like Dick Turpin's celebrated mare u Black Bess" at York, falling 
under him dead upon reaching the Castle door. The message that 
Lady Ann sent to her clansmen was that her family were held 
prisoners in their own house by the burghers of Elgin. This 
intelligence produced an extraordinary effect in Strathspey, where- 
Lady Ann was universally beloved. No fiery cross ever sped on 
swifter wing proclaiming the magic gathering word, " Stand fast, 
Craigellachie," than the news that Lady Ann was in danger 
travelled through the Strath. The men of the village of Gran- 

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46 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

town were collected by tuck of drum just as they were preparing 
for Church. In Cronidale, the Rev. Gregor Grant received the 
message in the pulpit, stopped the sermon, announced the call to 
the rescue, and offered up a short prayer in Gaelic for success. 

Forthwith might be seen gathering from every hill and glen, 
as in the palmy days of old, every man who could grasp a stick, so 
that within two hours of receiving the summons about 300 men, 
with the minister at their head, marched for Elgin. Captain 
Grant, Congash, the factor on the Strathspey estates, sent 
messengers in all directions to rouse the tenantry. Mr Forsyth, 
Dell, father of the present minister of Abernethy, Dr Forsyth, 
assisted by Mr Grant, Rothiemoon, assembled the Abernethy men. 
Patrick Grant of Auchterblair, who afterwards became Field- 
Marshal General Sir Patrick Grant, performed a like service in 
Gleann Chearnach — the glen of heroes- -as the parish of Duthil 
was anciently called ; so that in the course of a few hours some 
700 men had assembled at the different points of rendezvous, or 
were across the mountains, seeking the shortest route to the place 
where their chieftainess was imprisoned. In fact, the Highlanders, 
to a man, turned out, and, travelling all night, hundreds were in 
Elgin on Monday morning ere many of the burghers were out of 

As we can imagine, the excitement in Strathspey among the 
women and the old men who stayed at home was very intense, and 
the wildest rumours prevailed ; one woman circulating the report 
that they had taken with them the " Armoury " at Castle Grant ; 
another that a battle had already been fought, that many had 
been killed, and that Lady Ann herself was amongst the wounded. 
But, leaving the Strathspey women to imagine all sorts of horrors, 
let us see how they are preparing in Elgin for the onslaught. The 
civic rulers had a vague suspicion that something of the kind was 
contemplated, and when the first body of the Highlanders, consist- 
ing of the Cromdale and Ad vie men, arrived at Aberlour, about 1 1 
o'clock on Sabbath night, one of Lord Fife's tenants, a Mr Inkson, 
suspecting the cause of so many men passing down Speyside, 
hurried on horseback to Elgin, arrived there about three o'clock 
4m Monday morning, proceeded to Mackenzie's Inn, w r here such of 
the Council as were favourable to Lord Fife were kept under a 
strong guard, and informed the quaking burghers that the Grants 
had risen as in ancient times, and that a band between two and 
three hundred were already on the march, and within a short 
distance of the town. The tidings caused the greatest consterna- 
tion and terror amongst the burghers. The bugle blew, the drum 

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Strathspey Raid to Elgin. 47 

beat, and those of the guard that could be spared ran in all 
directions to awaken the inhabitants. Soon the streets 
were crowded with panic-stricken and bewildered citizens 
who imagined that the Highlanders had come to sack the town, as 
the Macdonalds of the Isles did centuries before. For greater 
security the Council were escorted under a strong guard, from the 
hm to the Tolbooth : and when, a little before five, the alarm was 
given that the Highlanders were at hand, the citizens, who hid 
armed themselves with staves, swords, and other weapons, flew to 
the Tolbooth, which happened to be the place farthest from 
danger, with a determination to stand by it to the last. Others 
of the citizens, more aggressive in spirit, stationed themselves at 
the gate of Grant Lodge, provided with baskets filled with broken 
bottles, to hurl at any one who might attempt a rescue. Mean- 
while the Highlanders were marching on, silently at first, until 
the Sabbath was over, and then the word was given to Peter Bane, 
the celebrated piper and fiddler, who, with the Abernethy men, 
followed in the wake of Cromdale and Advie, to tune up his 
drones, "0 Pharig 'nis seid suas gu brais i," and the rest of the 
journey was enlivened by his stirring strains. There were not 
many people astir as they passed along, but such as were up could 
not conceive what was ado, and no further information could be 
obtained from the Highlanders than that they were going to the 
market. u Where was the market ?' " Och, just at Elgin the 
morn." The Duthil men followed some hours later, and took the 
most direct route, as they had much further to go. About two 
miles from Elgin a general rendezvous was held, and the army 
was easily arranged in military order. As it was only five years 
after the peace, many of the men were old soldiers, and among 
them were several half-pay officers who had seen service in almost 
every quarter of the glohe, while the factor and leader of the 
expedition, Captain Grant, Congash, was an old militia officer. 

About 5 a.m. on the morning of March the 13th, a memorable 
day in the annals of Elgin, the first detachment of the Highlanders 
made their appearance. Marching up Moss Street, with pipers 
playing, they proceeded to Grant Lodge. Their numbers, and the 
resolute w T ay they grasped their sticks, was enough for the broken 
bottle brigade ; the siege was immediately raised, the burghers fled, 
and the Strathspey men quietly entered the policies of Grant 
Lodge, where they were joyfully welcomed, Lady Ann, genial, 
kind-hearted, and aftable, going about amongst her clansmen, and 
showering her smiles and grateful greetings on every one. It wag 
a serious business to feed seven hundred men at a moment's notic e 

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48 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

after such a long journey, but a number of bullocks were 
slaughtered at Linkwood, a cask of whisky was broached, and 
provisions were prepared for the entire party on the lawn. As 
the blood of. the Highlanders was up, the difficulty was in pre- 
venting a collision between them and the townspeople. The 
Provost was so afraid of a conflict that he crept into Grant Lodge 
by a back door, and implored Lady Ann on his knees to get the 
Highlanders to save the town and return to their homes. This 
appeal was backed up by the Sheriff, who, accompanied by the 
clergy of the town, waited on Lady Ann, and urged on her the 
absolute necessity of ordering the Highlanders to return home 
before anything more serious would happen. Her ladyship 
replied that the men had made a very long journey, and would 
require refreshment and a good rest before they were in a con- 
dition to march home again ; and, further, that she must have an 
assurance from the Sheriff and Town Council that special con- 
stables vvould be sworn in to preserve the peace, and the inmates 
of Grant Lodge would no longer be molested. This the Sheriff 
and Town Council promptly agreed to do. The Highlanders, after 
being satisfied that the freedom and safety of the Earl and his 
sisters was assured for the future, agreed to return home that 
same afternoon. 

It was insinuated by the Fife party that the object of the 
expedition was to settle the election as they did 70 years before, 
but that this idea was wholly unfounded will be apparent when 
we consider how easily they were persuaded to return home as 
soon as they were satisfied that their Chief and his sisters were 
safe. They left their homes almost at a moment's notice, some of 
the men from the western part of the parish of Duthil marching a 
distance of 47 miles in ten hours. They expected to have to fight 
their way through a mob of thousands of infuriated Lowlanders. 
But they never shrank from the ordeal. They relied upon 
courage, firmness, and a natural talent for fighting to overcome 
the formidable hosts which rumour told them were arrayed 
against their Chief. When they arrived in Elgin they found that 
numerically they were much stronger than their opponents, and 
it reflects great credit on their forbearance and respect for law and 
order that they agreed to return home again without cracking a 
few Lowland heads. They left at three o'clock on Monday after- 
noon, with drums beating and pipes playing. 

The Highlanders having arranged to go home by a different 
route, Lady Ann, with thoughtful consideration, sent orders to 
Forres and every inn on the road to give them anything they 

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Strathspey Raid to Elgin. 49 

wanted. At Forres they made a night of it, eating, drinking, and 
dancing till the morning, and then on to Strathspey without a 
halt, many of the men from Duthil and the more remote parts of 
Abernethy having walked fully 80 miles without going to bed. 
Even after the departure of the Highlanders, Elgin continued in 
an indescribable state of excitement. All the able-bodied citizens 
were sworn in as special constables, drilled, and placed under the 
com maud of one of the many retired military gentlemen residing 
in the town. Patrols were established, sentries placed, and rounds 
made, and the town put as nearly as possible under military law. 
In the course of the forenoon the inhabitants were strengthened 
by Lord Fife's tenantry pouring in from the surrounding districts, 
armed with sticks and other weapons ; while rumour, with her 
hundred tongues, every now and then brought reports that the 
Highlanders had not returned to Strathspey, but were lurking in 
the adjoining woods, ready to enter the town after nightfall and 
carry off Lord Fife's supporters. 

About 10 o'clock at night, a false alarm that the Highlanders 
were going to attack the town put all on the alert. The horn of 
alarm was again sounded, the drums beat, and the inhabitants 
armed themselves as best they could, and, with the constables, 
paraded the streets for hours, while instructions were given to the 
occupiers of all houses fronting the streets to have their windows 
lighted up with candles, so that if a Highlander was lurking about 
he could be immediately detected. Accordingly, an extensive 
illumination took place. Many of the Grant party were obliged 
to light up their nouses as well, to prevent their windows being 
broken. But no enemy appeared, the report originating by two 
or three poor fellows having got too much drink, who were seen 
loitering about the woods, and whose numbers were magnified into 
as many hundreds. 

On Tuesday the town was a good deal excited, the special 
constables still continuing at their posts, and the guards at theirs, 
and old women of both sexes seeing a Highlander ready to pounce 
on them at the corner of every street if they crossed the door after 
nightfall. Wednesday was the day appointed for electing a 
delegate, and an immense crowd gathered on the streets, while 
the constables, with the Sheriff at their head, walked through the 
town to see that no riot took place. As none of Colonel Grant's 
friends appeared, the Fife party met alone and nominated a dele- 
gate to represent them .at Cullen. This was hardly a legal 
proceeding, there being only a minority of the Council and no 
Town-Clerk present. After a number of party meetings, Coun- 


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50 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

cillor Dick, who had returned from Sutherlandshire, was brought 
over to the Fife interest, and with Bailie Innes standing neutral, 
the Council was equally divided. The Provost, who was a sup- 
porter of the Grant interest, had both a deliberative and a casting 
vote, so after a number of protests, Mr Farquharson was declared 
duly elected by the Chairman's casting vota. Parliament met on 
the 21st of April, and Mr Farquharson's title was sustained. 

The disgraceful disturbances associated with this memorable 
election could easily have been prevented if those responsible for 
the peace and good government of the town had exercised a little 
more firmness, and promptly apprehended the ringleaders, instead 
of making theatrical displays at Graut Lodge, and military 
masquerading in the street. In connection with the kidnapping 
of the Bailie and Councillor, the matter was reported to the Lord 
Advocate, and the transaction was looked upon as highly uncon- 
stitutional by the Government. Four of Lord Fife's supporters 
from Elgin were tried at the Circuit Court of Justiciary, held at 
Inverness in September, 1820, on a charge of stellment, or man- 
stealing. They were defended by Mr John Peter Grant of 
Kothiemurchus ; but as the parties stolen did not take the matter 
very seriously, a convenient flaw iu the indictment was discovered, 
and the trial broke down. A great procession went out to meet 
the accused on their return to Elgin, where they were feasted by 
Lord Fife's supporters. At the annual meeting to elect a new 
Council, the Fife party were triumphant, and the General was, on 
the first opportunity, duly elected member for the Elgin burghs. 

So ended this, the last struggle under the old system of self- 
government which gave rise to one of the most remarkable traits 
of the feudal system which the present century has seen. It 
would be difficult to approve and justify the policy which 
instigated this remarkable demonstration on the part of the 
Strathspey men, but one cannot help cherishing a feeling of 
admiration at the courage, loyalty, and chivalrous love which 
animated the breasts of those true and warm-hearted Highlanders. 
To the outward eye, however, the picturesque appearance that 
we associate with the rising of a clan was almost entirely absent, 
as very few of the men wore the Highland dress, which Duncha' 
Ban nan Oran so eloquently describes as " the clothes that dis- 
play the strife of colours in which the carmine prevails." There 
was, consequently, a want of that characteristic distinction which 
should have separated the Saxon from the Gael. The Strathspey 
men were, as a rule, dressed in coarse home-made tweed or hodden 
grey cloth, a capital, warm, and serviceable dress, but in no way 

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Strathspey Raid to Elgin. 51 

characteristic of the Highlander and the Highland Clan. Yet the 
raid of Elgin furnished a splendid exhibition of the loyalty of the 
Strathspey men to the House of Grant, and it was so understood 
by Royalty itself. On the occasion of George the Fourth's visit 
to Scotland in 1822, when the King attended the ball given in his 
honour by the Peers of Scotland in Holyrood Palace, he asked one 
of the lords in waiting to point out the lady on whose account so 
many of the Strathspey Highlanders went to Elgin two years 
before. Lady Ann being pointed out, the Monarch emphatically 
remarked — " Well, truly, she is an object fit to raise the chivalry 
of any clan," and he took the first opportunity of raising her to 
the peerage. As might be expected, the incidents cf the " Raid," 
the kidnapping, and the political battle, are referred to in the 
songs and poetry of the period. The Lowland muse is not par- 
ticularly successful in " waking to ecstacy the living lyre," as the 
following samples will show : — 

" Success to all Fife's voters now, 
And to them we v will humbly bow, 
And gi'e that reverence due to them 
Which they deserve as honest men ; 
But let the Grants for ever stand 
A haughty but a shameless band. 
They brought themselves into disgrace, 
I trust we'll never see their face." 

Electioneering Song. 

" Now let us all to Elgin hie 

Where each his can is drinking, 
And fill the bowl to noble Fife 

While Seafield's cause is sinking. 
Success to Alexander now, 

Each honest heart is cheering, 
The dubious kind of votes to bind, 
We'll go electioneering. 

" See Banff in all her native grace 
Shakes hands with Inverury ; 
While rotten Cullen turns her back 

And hides her face of fury. 
But Elgin sure will never give 

Each raving prayer a hearing, 
But votes to find for noble Fife, 

They'll go electioneering." 

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52 Gaelic Society of Inuerness 

Most of the verses, however, are mere doggerel — 

" Oh, the Grants they are a filthy race, 
Have brought themselves into disgrace ; 
For they made the drums and pipes to play 
At Grantown on the Sabbath day." 

The following is rather a better specimen, and styled " A Patriotic 
Wish for the Prosperity of Elgin " : — 

" Oh Elgin, I would gladly sing 
The beauties that around thee spring ; 
Thy woods and groves with music ring, 

And rich adorn ; 
While smiling seasons plenty bring 
Of grass and corn. 

" But why, oh why, do'st thou complain, 
In such a loud and plaintive strain, 
And groan beneath a load of pain, 

As heaven would fa' ? 
Why nearly fifty years they ta'en 
My rights awa\ 

" Ah, waes me for't, my ain good toun, 
That's reared so mony a canty loon ; 
Who oft has trod the world roun' 

With honoured name ; 
And never was ashamed to own 

From thee he came. 

" But what a fright to mony a mother, 
To bee so mony from the heather, 
Seven hundred of them a' together, 

Come frae the hill ; 
What errand brought so mony hither 

Is known iu! well. 

" I venerate the hardy sons 
Bred 'mang the heather and the whins, 
Who gallantly have used their guns 

In our late war ; 
And from the head even to the shins 

Bear mony a scar. 

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Strathspey Raid to Elgin. 53 

" They fought and bled at Waterloo, 
And twined fair laurels round their broo, 
The brightest plumes that ever grew 

Their heads adorn ; 
Memorials of that overthrow 

Shall long be worn. 

" But gladly these returned hame 
From our good town the way they came ; 
Their leaders gained but little fame 

For a' their toil, 
Ne'er need they play another game 

On CallanV soil. 

" Amid the darkness of the night 
We hailed the flambeau's shining light ; 
In self-defence we stood for right 

Along the streets, 
Prepared with all their boasted might 

Our foes to meet. 

" We mustered out a numerous throng 
Of rich and poor, old maids and young ; 
The streets with blended voices rung 

And youthful glee ; 
Each avenue was guarded strong 

With jealous eye. 

" With weapons of the rustic kind, 
Supported with an ardent mind, 
Which no compulsive power can bind, 

We stood our ground, 
And thankful are we now to find 

All safe ana sound." 

In pleasing contrast to the common place sentiments of the Low- 
land bards on the raid, take the following Strathspey song, full of 
Celtic fire and fervour, and for many years popular round the 
ceilidh fire in that district. And yet there are indications in its 
quaint transitions and Saxon innovations that the old modes of 
thought and speech were beginning to crumble away : — 

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54 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" Ye Highland lads, sing loud huzzas, 
'•S bidhibh sugach, greannar, 
Tha onair mhor 's cliu as ur, 
Tigh'nn air an teaghlach Ghranntach ; 
Craigellachie will shout with glee, 
Gus am freagair cnuic 's coilltean 
bidhibh ait', a Ghaidheil ghasda, 
Gacb 6igear agus maigbdean. 

" For now a toast we have to boast, 
Fhad's dh'ara's sruth na planntain — 
Gum beil Miss Grannd air ardachd rang 
'S air a stilig 'nis na 'Ban-Tighearn'. 
Oh who would not drink out this toast, 
Cha'n'eil iad 'n so air am planing* 
Nacb deanadh a h-61 do bhurn an loin . 
Air slainte an 6g oigh Ghranntach. 

" It's well our part to join one heart, 
Gu cliu a chuir an c&ll dhuibh 
Oir 'sea ruin a tighinn car uine 
A thamh ; measg luchd na feile. 
The lads so clean, with tartans green, 
'S ann asda dh'earbs' i'n cairdeas ; 
b'e a run 'bhi 'tarruing dluth 
'Nuair bhiodh na Goill ga 'sarachd. 

" Wben the Chief of Grant abroad did rant, 
Bha feum air gaisgich Ghaidhealach 
Gu dhol air ball air feadh nan Gall 
'Chumail ceart nam meirlich ; 
With bonnets blue and hearts so true, 
Kinn iadsan Eilginn 'sguabadh 
'S na Goill gu dluth ruith anns gach cuil 
Gun toil, gun surd gu bualadh. 

" The river Spey will sooner dry, 
TV fhurasd' Carngorrn a thionndadh, 
Na ittdsan buaidh thoirt air an t-sluagh 
T3i?i 1 1. is an glac nam beanntann. 
Now hero, adieu, Miss Grant, to you 
Po dlioagh dheoch slainte 'sa 'Ghailig, 
'S mu bhios feum air daoin' Strathspe 
Cba threig iad thu 's cha'n fhailluing. 

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Strathspey Raid to Elgin. 55 

" And Col. Grant we'll not forget, 
Tha 'nis aig' onair dhubailt, 
'S lion an aird' mo ghloin' gu barr, 
'S olaidh mi dha ciipan ; 
Long may he man the Highland Clan* 
Le onair, aighear, 's aillteachd, 
Is bidh ainm air luaidh le cliu 's buaidh 
Air machair 's air Gaelteachd. 

" When times began to take a turn 
'S dar bha sinn air ar sarachd. 
Chuir e gu deis thun 'n-taobh-deas 
A* cheannach bidh gu ar n' arach ; 
Both corn and meal he did retail 
Do na h-uile bha na 'n eiginn, 
'S e is barail leinn gun chapmhainn e roinn 
Bho basach'd air na sleibhtean. 

" When meal was dear and far from here 
'S an t-airgiod bhi gle ghann duinn, 
'S nach robh siol cur an taoibh-s' do'n mhuir 
A rachadh 'chur 's na beanntan : 
And when with frost our crop was lost 
Bha sgread ro chruaidh 's a' Ghaelteachd 
Le cridh' blath thug es' gun dail 
Mhan beagan de nam mail dhuinn. 

u Who would not then all join as one 
'Thoirt cliu dha 'n Choirnal bheusach, 
'S bidh chreag ud shuas 'cur fuaim a nuas 
'S bidh Carngorm ag eisdeachd ; 
The forests round will hear the sound 
S* ni iad fuam 'bhios fuasach, 
; S thig Ne'ich mhan na tonnan ban 
'S i 'g eigheachd ri Spe 'bhi 'gluasad. 

" Let mirth abound and health go round, 
Deoch slainte do Chaiptein Grannda, 
S' e 'chuir air luaidh air moch Dilua^n, 
'S e mach air leathad nan beanntan ; 
By four o'clock he made a smoke 
'S bha biadh an sin 'san am sin, 
Bha mac na brach' an sin ga'r baisd' 
Le aighear 's ce61 's dannsa. 

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56 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" I don't incline the rest to name, 
De uailsean ghasd' Shrath-Spe dhuibh, 
Cha 'n urrainn mi an Innseadh le biigh 
Na 'n cliu a chur an ceill dhuibh ; 
But- they are true and hardy too, 
Is gaisgich iad an elginn ; 
'S iad 'churaadh ceann ri clann nam beann 
Is Granntaich na'in bidh feum orra. 

" High are their bens and deep their glens, 
Tha slainte ri fhaighinn annta, 
'8 e 's mo ruin air maduinn chiuin 
An siubhal air latha samhraidh ; 
They're full of joy, no cares annoy, 
Tha feidh 's laoigh moran, 
'N coileach dubh 's a' chearc gu-gu 
'S a' mhadainn binn ag 6ran. 

' By crystal springs the cuckoo sings 
's ait' learn bhi ga h-eisdeachd, 
'S an smeorach bhinn ri ceoil do 'linn 
A' measg nam preas 's nan geugan ; 
By rising sun through every den 
Bidh 'n tunnag fhiadhaich 's a h-al ann ; 
'8 e mo ruin gus an duin mo shuil 
Bhi' seinn air chu na Gaelteachd." 

2nd APRIL, 1896. 

At the meeting this evening the Secretary read a paper 
contributed by Mr L. Macbean, Kirkcaldy, entitled " The Mission 
of the Celt." The paper was as follows : — 



The revival of interest and activity in Gaelic life has now 
reached a point when it is time to review our position, and, if 
possible, form some intelligent idea of our mission and destiny as 
a people. The race is becoming conscious of itself, and feeling its 
unity as never before, and the moment is therefore opportune to 

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The Mission of the Celt 57 

reflect intelligently on its place in the world, its power, and 
its future. In considering so wide a subject, we must first 
enquire what are the tendencies of the currents around us. 
The most potent fact here is the tide in the affairs of the Gael 
which has flowed with increasing strength and volume through 
the present century — a revival of life and interest which is at 
once a sign and a cause of the brighter era which is dawning upon 
our people. It will be interesting to examine the nature and 
origin and aims and methods and achievements of this revival. 
It is, broadly speaking, an outburst of race feeling shown in love 
of coantry, and people, and language, and music, and traditions — 
not an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of the world. 
It may be compared with the Slavonic dreams of a united race 
that adds a tinge of romance to the politics of Russia and the 
Turkish principalities, or to the Greek revival, which led to the 
resurrection of Greece , or even to .the old Hebrew patriotism so 
vividly pourtrayed in our Bibles. In all these instances the race 
feeling has been allied with politics or religion — in our case it is 
almost entirely literary or social ; and yet, in the case of Gael, and 
Greek, and Jew, and Slav, the great object in view is the welfare 
of the lace and the triumph of its genius. Now, this triumph is 
of the utmost value to the world, as well as matter of natural 
satisfaction to the race immediately concerned ; for it is to this 
that we owe the splendid contributions made by Hebrew, Greek, 
aud Roman to the life of mankind. Every race must add its own 
endowment to the common heritage of man, and the Celt must 
take care that the Celtic contribution is not, through cowardice 
or ignorance, withheld. 

(1) — Gaelic Language.. 

The first feeble symptoms of new life were sh^wn in connection 
with the Gaelic language. The Gael suddenly awoke to the 
alarming fact that his native tongue, which more than anything 
else was the distinguishing mark of his tribe, was dying out before 
the tongue of the Southron. The thought touched his sensitive 
and melancholy nature as nothing else could. 

" 'Tis fading, oh 'tis fading, like leaves upon the trees, 

In murmuring: tone 'tis dying like the wail upon the breeze, 
'Tis slowly, surely sinking into, silent death at last, 
To live but in the memory of those who love the past." 

People never know how much they value a thing until they are 
threatened with its loss, and so the thought of the approaching 

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58 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

death of the dear old language aroused the Gael to some appreci- 
ation of its beauties, and to the discovery that it could throw 
valuable light, not only on his own past, but on the history of the 
other races of Europe. In this connection it may be noted that 
the first beginnings of the Gaelic revival were peculiarly Celtic 
and extreme. Not only was a fabulous antiquity ascribed to the 
language, but a close relationship was claimed with other vener- 
able tongues where no such relationship exists. We have lived 
to outgrow these early follies, and our enthusiasm for the old 
language is tempered by some degree of knowledge regarding its 
history, and changes, and real -pi ace in the family of languages. 

(2) — The Preservation op Gaelic. 

One of the aims of the Gaelic revival waft, and to some extent 
is still, to perpetuate Gaelic as a spoken language. The reasons 
adduced for its preservation are — (1) Its interesting history as the 
language of Ossianic poets, early Scottish kings, and the native 
Christian Church ; (2) its unique, though limited, literary 
treasures ; (3) its advantages as the language alike of song and 
religion ; (4) its value as a bond of race, which is so necessary 
that, if it did not exist, we should have to invent it. The methods 
employed to perpetuate the use of Gaelic as a spoken language are 
societies, concerts, books, magazines and newspapers, and teaching 
in schools. Among the societies that have done excellent work 
are the Gaelic Society of London, established in 1777, and still 
alive ; the Highland Society of London ; the Highland Society of 
Scotland, to which we owe the great Gaelic dictionary ; the Gaelic 
Society of Inverness, the Gaelic Society of Glasgow, the Gaelic 
Society of Perth, the Gaelic Society of Toronto, and similar 
societies in Aberdeen, Greenock, snd elsewhere. At none of these 
societies is Gaelic commonly spoken, which may be taken as a sign 
that they do not consider the preservation of Gaelic essential. 
The concerts at which Gaelic songs are sung are generally well 
attended, and Gaelic vocalists are perhaps as popular as were the 
old bards and harpers in other days. Perhaps the day will come 
when we shall have a Gaelic drama. Schiller's " Wilhelm 
Tell" has already been translated into Gaelic, but I hope 
our first drama publicly performed will be Gaelic in subject 
as well as in language. Coming next to publications, it is 
gratifying to note that quite 'a number of Gaelic grammars and 
lesson books have been published ; and, as many of them have 
had a very large sale, it is evident that there are to-day more 
readers of Gaelic than at any previous time in our history. The 

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The Mission of the Celt 59 

magazines that have aided most in the enriching and perpetuation 
of Gaelic have been — "An Teachdaire Gaidhealach," "Cuairtear nan 
Gleann," " Fear Tathach nan Gleann," " An Gaidheal," " Bratach 
na Flrinn," and the Gaelic Records of the Churches. Our most 
recent monthlies, such as the Celtic Magazine, the Highland 
Monthly, and the very excellent periodical published in Glasgow 
— the Celtic Monthly, havs been chiefly printed in English, but 
they have contained Gaelic songs and articles; and Gaelic columns 
have also been given in many of our northern newspapers, such as 
the Highlander, the Scottish Highlander, the Northern Chronicle, 
and the Oban Times. All these supply sufficient evidence of the 
reality of the Gaelic revival, and an agency even more important 
for the purpose in view has been the teaching of Gaelic in High 
land Schools. But here also much more successful work might be 
done if rich Gaels and rich societies were to offer substantial 
prizes and bursaries to the best Gaelic scholars, or grants to the 
most successful Gaelic teachers. We may even go further and 
say that society meetings and concerts, the publication of books 
and magazines, and the teaching of Gaelic in schools, do not 
exhaust the resources of civilisation that can be used to prolong 
the life and increase the usefulness of Gaelic. It will uo an 
immense amount of good, not only for this purpose, but for the . 
intellectual progress of our people, if we can have Gaelic lecture- 
ships throughout the Highlands. I would fain desire that lectures 
in Gaelic on social or scientific subjects should be delivered in 
every parish ; and, if discussion in the same language were 
allowed after each lecture, it might lead to a Gaelic debating 
society being established in many a Highland glen, to the great 
gain of the inhabitants : and perhaps the way would thus be 
prepared for the business of our Highland parish councils being 
conducted in the language of the people. 

In the meantime, discouraged Highlanders should remember 
that the Gaelic language, at one time spoken only by a small 
tribe in the Western Highlands, has lived to crush out the Pictish 
tongue in the east of Scotland, the Welsh in Strathclyde, and the 
Norse in the Western Isles ; and that it is to-day spoken over a 
wider area, and by a far more numerous people, than in the days 
of Cuchullin or Columba. 

(3) — Philology. 

The second aim of the Gaelic revival has been the scientific 
study of the vocabularies and grammar of the old language. For 
a long time, indeed, Celtic philology, like many other goods, 
might be labelled " manufactured in Germany," for its first and 

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60 Gaelic Society of Inverness* 

most successful exponents were large-minded Teutons like Zeuss. 
But their labours have been continued with interesting results by 
able Highland scholars. 

(4). — Literature. 

In the department of literature, the revival of interest has 
been very fruitful. The antiquarian stores of Gaelic have been 
ransacked, and the tales of the senachies have been collected ; the 
songs that lived only on the tongue of the Highland maid have 
been solidified in cold type, and our strange, stunted growths of 
medical and botanical and zoological science have been carefully 
preserved. Among the most important books given us by the 
Celtic revival in Scotland are Skene's "Celtic Scotland," the 
printing of the " Book of the Dean of Lismore," MacLauchlan's 
" Celtic Gleanings " and " Early Scottish Church," Campbell's 
" Leabhar na Feinne," and his "West Highland Tales," John Mac- 
kenzie's " Beauties of Gaelic Bards," Pattison's " Translations of 
Gaelic Poetry," Blackie's " Language and Literature of the Scot- 
tish Highlands," Macneill's " Literature of the Highlands," 
Sinclair's " Oranaiche," Henry Whyte's " Celtic Garland," Malcolm 
Macfarlane's " Phonetics of Gaelic," Mackenzie's " Eachdraidh na 
h-Alba," the collection of hymns edited by John Whyte, Camerons' 
t; Reliquiae Celticee," Alexander Mackenzie's Clan Histories, various 
books on music and place-names, and several volumes of poetry by 
talented Gaelic bards who are still living. We have some reason 
to be proud of the men who have stood foremosc in the literature 
of the Gaelic revival. In history we have had Skene, Mac- 
Lauchlan, Keltie, Brown, Macneill, and Mackenzie ; in poetry — 
Maccoll, Campbell of Ledaig, Maccallum, Mrs Macpherson, and 
Mrs Mackellar ; in music, collectors like Charles Stewart and 
Henry Whyte ; in lexicography — Macleod and Dewar, Macalpine, 
Cameron, and Alexander Macbain; in grammar — Stewart and 
Forbes, Munro and Macpherson ; in folk-lore, collectors like J. F. 
Campbell, Hector Maclean, and A. A, Carmicbael ; and in editorial 
work, men like Norman Macleod, Dr Clerk, A. M. Sinclair, 
Fraser-Mackintosh, Dr MacLauchlan, and John Whyte ; and in 
natural history, the Rev. Dr Stewart, Nether Lochaber. The 
revival has led to great activity in translation. A large number 
of English books, chiefly religious, have been translated into 
Gaelic ; and there have been numerous translations from Gaelic, 
chiefly poetry and fairy tales. In view of all this literary activity, 
it will be necessary for us to have a complete dictionary of Gaelic 
works, or perhaps an edition of Reid's " Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica" 
brought up to date. 

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The Mission of the Celt 61 

(5) — Music. 

Music is the only fine art in which the Gaelic revival has been 
felt. Our forefathers originated the Celtic cross, the mysteries of 
Celtic ornamentation, the marvellous beauties of illuminated 
initials, and even the audacious design of the tartan ; but our 
environment in a barren country prevented us from making any 
progress in painting or sculpture. But in music the renewed 
energy of our people has already shown itself in the collection and 
printing of the fine old melodies bequeathed to us by a more 
gifted ancestry ; and we may expect that before the Gaelic 
revival has quite spent itself, we shall have a national style of 
harmony in keeping with those splendid old tunes, and who knows 
but some talented Highlander will yet give us a Gaelic opera or a 
Gaelic oratorio. 

(6) — Highland Customs. 

The Gaelic revival has also been felt in the observation of old 
customs. Old Highland sports and the old Highland garb are 
preserved by the numerous Highland athletic gatherings that are 
held all over the country, and, although this is not very important, 
it shows how the tide is flowing. 

(7) — Material Progress. 

But there is another department of life in which the re- 
in vigoration of the national spirit has shown itself to some 
purpose — I mean the sphere of social and material progress. In 
our day there is a growing determination that our countrymen 
-who remain at home in the Highlands — and especially the poorer 
classes among them — shall have at least fairplay. For the first 
time since the days of Prince Charlie, Gaelic has been used as an 
effective instrument of politics, and this use of the language of the 
people is a sign of a wish to respect their feelings. Of course, we 
know that the Highlands are too poor and barren to maintain all 
our people in comfort, but in each of our large cities a new 
Gaeldom is rising up, and the Gaelic revival has shown itself 
there in the form of clan societies for mutual aid and for the 
support of poorer countrymen. 


Having now glanced over this heaving tide of new Celtic life 
which has overflowed the fields of literature, music, customs, and 
social progress, it remains for us to ask, What of the future ? 

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62 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

The Gael are awakening to consciousness, and as a man when he 
becomes conscious, first asks, What am I ? Whence am I ? 
What am I here for ? So the Gael must ask, What are we % 
What are our capabilities ? What is our destiny ? 

Cbltophils and Cbltomaniacs. 

For more than a century there have been two views regarding 
the future of the Gaelic-speaking Highlander — the one held by 
supercilious Englishmen and echoed by feeble Highlanders, the 
other held by a small but patriotic set of Highlanders. The first 
view is that the Celt, as a Celt, is a relic of barbarism, a nuisance 
in the way of civilisation that must be speedily swept out of the 
way, with the exception that Celts who can transform themselves 
into imitations of Englishmen, be allowed to live on in sub- 
ordinate positions suitable to their capabilities. There has really 
been a great deal of seeming reason for this view. The Celtic 
race in these Islands, not only in Scotland, but in England and 
Ireland, has apparently been driven westwards to the uttermost 
borders of the land, and even in those remote coasts the rising 
tide of Saxon civilisation has threatened to overtake and sub- 
merge them. The second view of the position and duty of the 
Gael has been that of the few patriots who protested against the 
invasion of the English tongue and English ideas, and declared 
that extinction was preferable to submission. 

Both Wrong. 

We have now arrived at a point whence we can see that both 
views have been wrong. The Highlander is really in a better 
position than either the one party or the other dreamed of. Our 
fate as a race is neither to die out nor to be Anglicised. On the 
contrary, it is important even for the future of Saxon civilisation 
that certain qualities of the Celtic nature should be preserved. 

Our Contribution to Saxon Civilisation. 

The time has come when the Gaelic race must give its own 
contribution to the progress of humanity. We cannot give 
religious insight like the Hebrew, nor the perception of beauty 
like the Greek, nor civic law like the Roman, nor the fruits of 
plodding industry like the Teuton. But it happens that the Gael 
has the very qualities in which the Saxon is most deficient. It is 
ideality, it is sentiment, it is enthusiasm, it is elan, it is 
strenuousness, it is intensity, it is imagination, delicacy of fancy, 

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The Mission of the Celt 6$ 

humour, love of colour, love of nature. It is, in a word, all that 
is spirituelle and opposed to the sordid and the worldly. These 
are the very qualities which the Teutonic race and modern 
utilitarian civilisation lack most, and the mission of the Celt is to 
supply them. 

A Caveat. 

Now, no Scottish Highlander could advance such a claim 
before a Gaelic audience on behalf of the Gaelic race but for two 
things. The first is — That so far from being a Celtic invention 
this view has been first broached and supported by English 
writers of the highest rank, like Henry Morley and Matthew 
Arnold. The second is — That the claim is a general one, and 
does not affect any individual Gael. Every Highlander does not 
possess the Gaelic temperament ; nor, on the other hand, must 
we imagine that every true Englishman is dull and unimagi- 
native. The Gaelic temperament is often found in sunny 
England, and still oftener in Lowland Scotland ; while a stolidity 
that might do credit to any phlegmatic Teuton may be found to 
the north of the Grampians. The fact is that we British are a 
mixed people, and there is in these islands no such thing as 
purity of race. The blood of Dane, and Pict, and Briton, is 
probably mixed with the Gaelic current in your veins and mine. 
There are Teutons in Caithness and Celts in Yorkshire. But still 
we must hold to the broad facts. The German or the Dutchman 
— dull, heavy, disciplined, slow, is a very different being from the 
Scottish Gael, with his verve and dash and alert mind. And the 
Englishman, while situated between these two extremes, has in 
him more of the German than of the Celt. Of course an educated 
Englishman is smarter than an ignorant Highlander ; but taking 
both races on the lowest level, I think a lecturer or vocalist would 
be more likely to find an intelligent and responsive audience 
among the crofters of a Highland clachan than among the heavy, 
clod-hopping, honest hinds of an English rural district. The 
truth is that the Gael (like all Celts) is nervous, sensitive to the 
influences from the unseen, much impressed by the awful fact of 
death (as anyone familiar with our Highland peasantry can tell), 
keenly sensitive to the lash of conscience. He is by nature an 
idealist and enthusiast, and the peculiar note of his high-strung 
temperament is heard more or less clearly all through his history, 
his literature, his proverbs, his tales, and his music. 

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64 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Growing Celticism op Britain. 
(1) — Celtic Influence. 

This short disquisition on the Gaelic temperament has prepared 
the way for the proposition I am now to lay down. It is a 
remarkable thing that while there has been a revival of race 
feeling in Gaeldom there has been in English literature a recognised 
growth of Celtic influence. As an English litterateur has lately 
suggested, the Celtic fringe, the wreckage and relics of Celticism, 
driven to the borders of the land before the tide of Saxon aggres- 
sion, have been resurging back upon that dark tide in the form of 
a certain foam and tinge of thought and sentiment. It has not 
been generally observed that Scottish literature has long been 
growing more and more Celtic in character. To see this quite 
clearly you have only to compare the Anglo-Saxon poetry of old 
writers like Dunbar, Henryson, and Douglas with the thorough 
Celticism of Ferguson, Burns, and Scott, as shown in their love of 
nature and colour, their brilliance of imagination, and their 
frequent use of Gaelic words and fondness for Celtic ideals of love 
and valour. This Celticism, which has long and increasingly 
pervaded the literature of Scotland, is now being felt in the more 
imperial literature of England. This is not fully accounted for 
by the fact that Celtic poets like Thomas Campbell, Charles 
Mackay, Eric Mackay, George Macdonald, and William Allan 
have left their mark on English verse, or that novelists like 
Robert Buchanan, William Black, and Ian Maclaren have intro- 
duced the Highland spirit into English fiction, for in every 
department of literature there is a new vivacity and earnestness 
and delicacy which seem echoes of Celtic thought, and which at 
any rate are not Teutonic. The same remark applies to the field 
of music. It is not only that we now find among eminent 
composers Gaels like A. C. Mackenzie and Hamish MacCunn, 
but that the musical ideals of England are being illuminated by a 
Celtic spirit. In the political world it is a matter of common 
remark that nearly all our Parliamentary leaders and nearly all 
our Colonial governors are Scotsmen with a large share of Celtic 
blood in their veins, but it is more to my present purpose that 
Celtic ideals of freedom, and Celtic sentiments of humanity and 
lofty principle are making themselves felt in the seat of power. 
In religion we have the same phenomenon. Good Celts like 
Livingstone and General Gordon and Mackay of Uganda and 
Moffat have carried the Highland ideal of religion to the ends of 
the earth ; but, what is more important, the religious world is 

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The Mission of the Celt 65 

becoming imbued with new ideals of true humanity, which is true 
divinity. But while thus becoming more tender, religion is 
becoming more honest. Having learned in solitude to measure 
somewhat of the realities of the moral world, the Gael judges 
himself severely, and the idea of accepting lightly Divine forgive- 
ness is abhorrent to his nature. That is why ultra-evangelical 
religion (no less than ritualistic religion) has never obtained a 
footing among the Gaelic people, and I do believe that this Celtic 
feeling after reality is becoming more general in religion. I need 
not go over other departments of life. Our army has, of course, 
been long permeated by the peculiar Celtic gallantry, and this 
quality is to-day as strongly marked as ever. In short, we must 
admit that what Mr Grant Allen and others say is true — that 
modern British life is becoming Celticised. The Celtic popula- 
tion had to recede before the aggressive Saxon, but the Celtic 
spirit conquers in the end. 

(2) — Celtic Population. 

This remark about the population brings me to my third 
point. We have seen that of late there have been side by side a 
conscious revival of Celtic feeling in the North, and an uncon- 
scious growth of Celticism in the higher manifestations of English 
life. But we have now to see that these developments are not 
accidental things, not the carrying out of any human purpose, 
but products of the spirit and tendency of the age. For even 
our population is becoming more Celtic. There is a resurgence 
and reflux of Celtic blood, as well as of Celtic spirit. I have long 
suspected this in regard to many of our large towns, and in 
writing this paper T had the curiosity to put the matter to the 
test by comparing the Highland names in current directories 
with those of twenty years ago. In every case the surnames of 
Northern origin have increased enormously as compared with the 
rest of the population. No doubt there are sound natural 
explanations of such changes. For one thing our vastly increased 
facilities for travel must lead to more movement and mixing of 
the population, and for another there is a continual flow of the 
population from the country to the towns. But those things only 
confirm the statement that the population, especially in the 
larger centres of civilisation, is becoming more Celtic — the result 
of Highland transmigration in Scotland, and of an infusion of 
Scottish, Irish, and Welsh Celts in the English towns. That 
statement, I think, may be taken as fact. The truth is that city 


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66 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

life is so enfeebling that few families are able to stand it for more 
than two generations. The population of our British cities has 
to be constantly recruited, and our own Highland glens furnish 
excellent material for the purpose. The Royal Commission on 
the crofter question reported — "The crofter and cottar popu- 
lation of the Highlands, small though it be, ^s a nursery of good 
workers and citizens for the whole empire. In this respect the 
stock is exceptionally valuable. By sound physical constitution, 
native intelligence, and good moral training, it is particularly 
fitted to recruit the people of our industrial centres." That 
deliverance by a Royal Commission more than bears out the 
truth of my contention, and although 1 do not like to make too 
much of the stress laid by the Commission on the physical, 
mental, and moral value of the Gaelic stock, any one will see 
from the census returns that in Sutherland, Ross, and other 
Highland counties, you have the highest longevity of all Scotland. 
The Registrar's returns show that these counties are far above the 
average in morality, at least in one department, while the 
ordinary criminal calendar is equally satisfactory in regard to 
other departments. 

Mission op the Celt. 

Well, now, we have looked at these three currents of our 
times — the rising tide of Celtic revival among ourselves, the flow 
of Celtic sentiment and ideas in English life and literature, and 
the stream of Celtic blood into city life — and we should now be 
in a position to guess what is the mission and destiny of the Celt. 
It is surely by infusion of ideas and transfusion of blood to leaven 
modern civilisation with its own awakening spirit. It is to touch 
to higher issues and transform by nobler sentiments the results 
of art and science and culture as these have been evolved by the 
sturdy Anglo-Saxon race. That seems a high enough mission for 
any people. And yet, I daresay, we may all feel inclined to say — 
It is a good and worthy task ; but, in the meantime, what of our 
own race ? 

Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Celt. 

Are we Gaels to be simply lost in the great ocean of Saxon 
civilisation ? Must we become extinct as a race, our only immor- 
tality being a slightly more spirituelle aroma about English 
literature, and a slightly less German cast of the features of English 
people ? We are all ambitious for our own race. We should like 
to see our small but gallant Gaelic nation playing a high and 

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The Mission of the Celt 67 

noble role even yet on the stage of history. Some of us may 
perhaps have even wondered in our younger days whether it 
might not be possible some day for the Highlanders to descend 
from their mountains and seize the reigns of empire, as Cyrus 
and his Persians swooped down on ancient Babylon. The thing 
would not be worth doing, even if it were possible. All that is 
best in the empire is already ours for the taking, and what is even 
better, the opportunity of serving the empire is open to us all. 
But to the real question — Whether the Gaelic race as a race is to 
survive and take a recognised part in the moulding of the civili- 
sation of the future? The answer must depend on our race 
itself. If the Gael is to be a real and acknowledged factor in 
that work, two things are necessary — he must preserve his 
heritage of Celtic ideals, and he must endeavour to rid his 
character of its historic weaknesses. 

Our Weaknesses — (1) Instability. 

The first and most noticeable of these weaknesses will be 
recognised as instability. The Galatians of Asia Minor, an 
offshoot of our race, were the most ready and ardent disciples 
that St Paul ever made, but with all their exaggerated devotion 
they were the first to fall away. All down our history, and 
perhaps most of all in the career of the great Celtic nation of 
France, we have frequent examples of the volatility and instability 
of the race. Our own hard training in northern Scotland has 
done much to eradicate this weakness, but the ill-advised out- 
break of '45, with its fruitless victories, as well as many a little 
outburst of temper since, must convince us that two centuries of 
industrialism and Calvinism have left us still Celts, with some 
of the racial weakness — spasmodic effort, ardent enthusiasm, with 
the inevitable reaction. 

(2) Pride. 

The second Celtic vice is pride. Two thousand years ago 
Diodorus wrote that we Celts were fond of enigmas, revelling in 
hyperbole, and with an overwhelming contempt for others. In 
our own day the expression " Highland pride and poverty " is 
proverbial, and when we see ourselves reflected in such mirrors as 
the novels and poems of Sir Walter Scott, we cannot overlook the 
hauteur there displayed. Now, before we can do any good in the 
world we must learn the graces of humility and brotherliness 
towards other races. If, as is generally supposed, the Celts are 
the oldest Aryan race in Europe, they ought to act the part of an 

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68 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

elder brother. The Gael ought especially to make himself master 
of English literature and science and art. He is the heir of all 
the ages, and for the perfecting of his own nature, as well as for 
the serving of the empire and the world, he must cast away hi* 
traditional pride, and assimilate the best that modern civilisation 
can produce. 

(•3)—r Pessimism. 

There is a third weakness at the bottom of our character as a 
race, which is, I think, the worst of all. It is the old fatalism 
and pessimism which fifteen centuries of Christianity have left 
quite untouched. In our Pagan Gaelic we speak of Rath and 
manadh. We say, Bha e 'an dan da or Bha 'uair d feitkeamh air. 
In our proverbs we have constantly recurring the idea of relent- 
less fate, and this notion of immovable destiny colours Highland 
ideas of life. That is why we are such ultra-Calvinists, and that 
is why every nation in Europe talks of "the melancholy tempera- 
ment of the Celt." It is because we are pessimists at heart. 
This creed our forefathers learned in the hard school of adversity, 
where they struggled long and bravely with the cruel facts of life. 
No doubt they were right, as pessimists are still right, as to these 
facts, but there may be a question as to the point of view. The 
greatest optimist the world ever saw looked on the glorious 
texture and colour of a lily, and remembering that it bloomed 
only to fade on the morrow, pointed out the wonderful prodigality 
of nature when even the short-lived lily is so endowed. The 
pessimist genius of the Gael would be inclined rather to wonder 
at the mystery of awful fate when even the most perfect beauty 
lives but for a day. It is all in the point of view. Now, this 
melancholy fatalism is in our blood ; it saddens the whole circle 
of Ossianic poetry, it rings through the Gaelic folk-tales, it gives 
its own weird colouring to Highland religion, and until we escape 
from it into a more happy atmosphere, our race can never have 
the buoyancy and cheerfulness which are quite necessary if it is to 
be a recognised factor in the evolution of civilisation. 

Preservation of Celticism. 

We shall be better Celts when we rid ourselves of these 
weaknesses, but if we are to remain Celts at all, not to speak of 
Celticising the British nation, we must keep in touch with the 
spirit of the race as embodied in our literature and traditions, for 
any real progress must bear some relation to the past. While 
appropriating the civilised institutions, the industrial arts, the 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 69 

literature, and even the language of the Saxon, we must remain 
Gaels. It is only thus that we can have any real power. Civili- 
sation has terrible problems that await solution. Side by side 
with its enormous increase of intellectual and material wealth 
there is an increase of degradation and vice. It needs the 
touch of some Celtic fairy to change it into some semblance of 
her own ideals. The British Empire, just as much as the old 
-empires of Babylon and Egypt, is founded on brute force, and it 
needs to .be inspired with Celtic sentiment and sympathy, and 
lofty idealism, and the generous chivalry of Ossian and Fionn. I 
think it is clear that it is on some such lines as these that 
Providence intends the Gael to accomplish his mission. 

Gospel op the Gael. 

This, then, is the Gospel of the Celt. Until quite lately, we 
seem to have been a race under some evil enchantment. We 
were ashamed of our Gaelic, ashamed of being Highlanders, and, 
like a people in dotage, living only in the past. Our music was 
^11 in the minor key — 

Dubh-bhr6n mar an sruthan diomhair 
Ag iarraidh fo iochdar na bruaich. 

But all this is changed ; the spell is broken. There is a new 
temper abroad. The Gael feels the current of youth coursing 
through his veins. He knows that a high destiny awaits him, 
-and that if he is true to himself, " the world's great future lies 
with him." 

9th APRIL, 1896, 

At the meeting this evening, Mr Charles Fergusson, Fairburn, 
read his fifth contribution to the Society on the " Early History, 
Legends, and Traditions of Strathardle." The paper was as 
follows : — 

—No. V. 

1600. — This is certainly the most disturbed and unsettled 
period of Strathardle history that I have had to deal with since I 
began to trace it from the year 1 ; nothing, but raids and cattle- 
lifting forays by caterans and unfriendly clans from all directions 

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70 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

— from the east came the Earl of Montrose's men from Kincar- 
dine ; from the 30uth the Earl of Drummon.d's men and the Clan 
Gregor from Glenstrae ; from the west came the Clan Menzies and 
the Campbells of Glenlyon, and the Robertsons of Struan ; and 
from the north the Clan Chattan, and the Macdonnells of Keppoch 
and Glengarry — all these and many more came at this time to 
slay and to plunder ; and ; to make matters worse, feuds, discords, 
and tumults raged amongst the natives, so that we find that t he- 
Privy Council Records for this period bristle with acts of caution, 
in which the Strathardle lairds are bound in very heavy sums of 
money not to harm each other or their neighbours. Religion had 
also a good deal to do with these disturbances, as the Robertsons 
of Straloch and many others had at the Reformation become 
zealous Protestants, whilst others stuck to the old Catholic faith, 
so that we find that, as Burns say, " Even at the Lord's House on 
Sunday " they could not restrain their rivalry : as we read in the 
Rev. James Robertson's "Barons Robertson of Straloch," page 14, 
writing of the "Baron Cutach " (John VI.), he says — "The 
Protestant religion was beginning to take footing in Strathardle, 
and the Baron, being not only a Protestant but the principal man 
in the country, it was necessary for him to go to the kirk in a 
warlike manner to protect the minister, Mr Sylvester Rattray of 
Persie, his brother-in-law, and also to prevent and quell tumults 
occasioned by Rattray of Dalrulzean and Spalding of Ashin- 

I may here mention that there was an old feud between the 
Robertsons of Straloch and the Spaldings of Ashintully, and so 
bitter did it become that the Privy Council in an Act of Caution, 
17th February, 1590, bound Robertson of Straloch in .£500 not to 
harm Spalding. And by another Act, on 10th March of the same 
year, James Wemyis of Myln of Werie becomes surety for Andrew 
Spalding of Ashintullie in £1000 not to harm John Robertson of 
Straloch or his son. The Spaldings were always such a wild, 
restless race, and were so often in trouble, that it was found 
necessary here, as usual, to lay a double fine upon Spalding, and 
it will always be noticed as we go along that in all cases of 
caution or fines, however lightly the other Strathardle lairds get 
off, the Chiefs of the Spaldings always get extra heavy penalties. 
However, they always seemed to have had the art of slipping 
quietly out of their difficulties and getting clear when the others 
had to pay the piper. 

Now, the Rev. James was very proud of all his ancestors, the 
famous " Barans Ruadh," and he specially extols the bravery and 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 71 

other good qualities of the Baran Cutach ; but, as becomes a rev. 
divine, he draws the line at playing the bagpipes when going to 
kirk on Sunday, as he says : — " John VI., called Cutach (short), 
was of a genteel, generous disposition, loved to live high and to 
make a figure in the world. Went with a piper and a retinue 
attending him, and so fond was he of that attendance that I have 
heard it said that he commonly went to church on Lord's day 
with his piper playing before him. This, if true, was neither 
grave nor religious." 

It will be seen that the rev. historian lets the Baran Cutach 
off as easily as possible for his Sunday pipe-playing, and, in fact, 
excuses it as necessary to protect his brother-in-law, the minister 
of Kirkmichael. He then goes on to tell us something of the 
week-day exploits of the Baron and his famous piper : — 

"The Baran Cutach was famous for suppressing robbers. It's 
storied of him that one time he himself, with his piper only in his 
eompany, turned a hership or prey of black cattle, driven by 
eighteen well armed men, by the following stratagem : — Having 
come within sight of the thieves, he caused his piper to stay 
behind a rising ground and play on his pipes ; and he had the 
courage to march forward alone till he was within shot of the 
robbers, and then stood upon a little eminence and cried with a 
loud voice — ' The thieves are here ! Haste up the people imme- 
diately ! Let a good party cast about and run before them, and 
let the body of the people come up straight and they are all our 
own.' How soon the thieves heard this bold call, and withal 
heard the piper play, they left their prey, all their baggage, and 
many of their weapons, and took them to their heels, leaving 
all to the Baron and his piper. He never used to go single. 
He had two other men with him besides the piper, and called 
them to move from place to place, as if to call in a body of people, 
crying — ' Barons, come forward ! the thieves are here ! ' Then 
the piper played a march, which, when the thieves heard, they 
fled, for the Baron's name was a terror to all such people, as he 
seldom went any distance without men in arms, which was much 
in use for men of any note in those troublesome times. Going to 
Glenfernate some time after, as he was passing Tom-an-Tuirc, one 
of his servants who waited on his cattle informed him that some 
Highland robbers, to the number of fifteen or sixteen, had com- 
mitted a great deal of abuse and robbery in and about his sheals 
arid bothies. He hastened up to that place with a number of his 
tenants, whom he levied as he went forward, and found the thieves 
eating and drinking his milk and cheese. He fell upon them ; 

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72 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

killed them, and buried them in a hollow place not far from the 
bothies, where some nettles grow to this day. This occasioned a 
byword, still remembered, which is * Bithidh urad mu dhdibhinn, y s a 
bha mu dMihhinn itheadh caise a' Bharajn Euaidhe ' — * There will 
be as much about it as about eating Baron Reid's cheese.' " 

" On another occasion some Highlanders came down and killed 
a gentleman in Glenshee — one M'Omie or M'Homie (M'Combie). 
The Baron caught two of them, and instantly caused them to be 
hanged on birch trees in the wood at Ennochdhu. Their graves 
are to be seen there to this day. Their names were Donald-na- 
Hogg and Finlay-na-Balior." I have often when a boy heard the 
old people relate the story of the capture and execution of these 
two caterans, which took place at the famous "Fuaran Fhionn- 
laidh" — Finlay's Well — which took its name from Finlay-na-Balior. 
This well lies about two hundred yards south-east of Ennochdhu, 
at the foot of the bank between the higher and lower fields, and 
about midway between Dalreoch Bridge and where Dirnanean 
Burn joins the Ardle. Its water is extra good, and it used to 
supply the village, but since the bank was planted and fenced the 
pathway to it is now stopped, and it is seldom visited. 

Finlay-na-Balior was the leader of the caterans who raided 
Glenshee, and slew M'Combie, who had attempted to rescue his 
cattle. Knowing that the Glenshee men would rise in force to 
revenge the death of M'Combie, the caterans relinquished their 
prey, smd scattered in diflerent directions to baffle pursuit, all 
going ij«.rth or west except Finlay and Donald, who turned south 
to Strathardle by Dirnanean, and at daybreak they took refuge in 
the thick wood of Ennochdhu beside the well, where they 
lay hid all day to avoid being discovered, as the country was 
now alarmed and parties hunting for the fugitives everywhere. 
At night they sallied forth in search of food, but could find 
nothing, until at last they came across a cow belonging to an 
old widow who lived in a cottage near the wood. They at 
once drove off the cow, killed her, and roasted part of her, and then 
lay down to sleep in the thicket. Tn the morning the widow 
missed her cow, and went in search of her. There had been a 
very heavy dew that night, so the widow soon came across the 
trail of the cow and her captors where their feet had brushed the 
dew of the long grass ; she followed this trail till she came to the 
well, where, to her great grief, she saw the half- skinned carcase 
of her poor cow, and the two caterans lying sound asleep beside it. 
She took in the situation at a glance, and quietly withdrawing, 
she at once hastened to the Baron Cutach, and told him her 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 73 

story. He at once guessed that they were the murderers of his 
friend M'Combie, so calling his piper and some of his people, he 
hurried to the wood, and forming a circle, they surrounded the 
well where the caterans still slept soundly, but they soon got a 
rude awakening, as the Baron ordered the piper to blow up his 
pipes, which he did with vigour, composing extempore a new tune 
for the occasion, which is well known to this day, called " A' bho 
dhubh, 's a' bh6 dhruimfhionn" — " The black cow, the black white- 
backed cow," which was the colour of the widow's slaughtered 
cow. The robbers sprang up, and endeavoured to escape, but 
they were instantly taken, and the Baron at once hung them on 
two birch trees. Just before being strung up, Finlay asked for 
a last drink out of the well, which he got, and the well is called 
after him to this day. The Baron sent the cow's carcase home to 
the old widow, and a live cow as well, to replace her beloved 
"Black, white- backed" cow, and as a reward for her share in 
bringing the caterans to justice. 

1601. — We have just seen in the previous year that Spalding 
of Ashintully raised tumults in Kirkmichael Kirk during service 
on Sundays^ A wild, lawless, turbulent race were these Spaldings, 
regular Ishmaelites ; their hand was against everybody, and every- 
body was against them. The first of the race is said to have 
belonged to the town of Spalding in Flanders ; he came over with 
the Conqueror in 1066. After taking his full share in the hard 
fighting of the time, he got a grant of lands in and about 
Berwick-on-Tweed. There his descendants flourished till 1318, 
when, as we read in " Ty tier's History of Scotland," Vol. I., page 
1 33 — " King Robert the Bruce determined to proceed with the 
siege of Berwick, a town which, as the key to England, was 
fortified in the strongest manner. Fortunately for the Scots, 
King Edward had committed its defence to a governor whose 
severity and strict adherence to discipline had disgusted some of 
the burgesses, and one of these, named Spalding, who had married 
a Scotch woman, was seduced from his allegiance, and determined 
on the night when it was his turn to take his part in the watch 
rounds to assist the enemy in an escalade. This intelligence he 
communicated to the Marshal, and he carried the news direct to 
Bruce himself, who was not slow in taking advantage of it. 
Douglas and Randolph, along with March, were commanded to 
assemble with a chosen body of men in the evening, and at night, 
having left their horses at the rendezvous, marched to Berwick, 
.and, by the assistance of Spalding, fixed their ladders, and scaled 
the walls, and took the town." In reward for this service, we find 

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74: Gaelic Society of Inverness 

in "The History of the Carnagies, Earls of Southesk," page 48 2, 
that Spalding received from King Robert the Bruce on 1st May, 
1319, in exchauge for his lands and tenements at Berwick, the 
lands of Ballourthy and Petmethey in Forfarshire, together with 
the keepership of the royal forest of Kylgerry. 

This was their first footing in the North. Hardynge, in his 
Chronicle, page 308, tells us " that Spalding after betraying the 
town vfent into Scotland, and was afterwards slain by the Scots." 
His name was Peter de Spalding, and I do not find any other 
mention of " his being slain by the Scots," though it is exceedingly 
likely, as most of his race died a violent death. In 1397 his son 
was slain by Sir Alexander Moray of Abercairney, who, as we read 
in the " Scottish Nation," Vol. II , p. 205, u Had the misfortune 
to be concerned in the slaughter of one Spalding, and was obliged 
to plead the privilege of Clan Macduff, as being within the ninth 
degree of consanguinity to the noble family of Fife, and the privi- 
lege was granted to him." I may mention that this famous* 
privilege of Clan Macduff was granted to Duncan Macduff, the 
celebrated Thane of Fife of Shakespeare, by King Malcolm 
Canmore for great services done, and consisted of — " 1st, That he, 
and his successors lords of Fife, should have the right of placing 
the Kings of Scotland on the throne at their coronation; 2nd, 
That they should lead the van of the Scottish armies whenever 
the royal banner was displayed ; 3rd, That if he, or any of his 
kindred, to the ninth degree, committed slaughter of a sudden ty, 
they should have a peculiar sanctuary, girth, or asylum, and obtain 
remission on payment of an atonement of money." 

For centuries the Spaldings increased in power, and extended 
their lands in Perth, Forfar, and Fifeshires. In 1400 King Robert 
III. gives James Spalding a charter of the lands of Fermell and 
Fornachty, in Forfarshire ; and Richard Spalding at the same time 
had a charter of confirmation of the lauds of Lumbtham and 
Craigaw, in Fifeshire. In 1583 the Spaldings built Ashintullie 
Castle, and in 1615 their lands of Ashintullie were by Act of Scots 
Parliament created into a barony with many privileges, including, 
of course, the right of pit and gallows, of which they took full 
advantage, so that, many a poor wretch was hung on the old ash 
tree on the Gallow-hili — " Tom-na-croiche " — at Ashintully without 
any trial but the laird's whim, though no doubt often enough 
innocent of the crime laid to his charge. Thus these warlike 
barons of Ashintully increased in wealth and power, and luied 
with a high hand on the Braes of Ardle till after the '45 ; but at 
the beginning of last century their power began to decline, and 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 75 

they gradually lost all their extensive lands, and for the last two 
centuries it has been one of the best known traditions of the 
Strath, and firmly believed in to this day, that their then chief, 
Andrew Spalding, and his brother David, of Whitehouse, brought 
a judgment on their race by a dark deed of murder done by them, 
for which they blamed and hung an innocent man. 

At that time their lived, at Bleaton, a farmer of the name of 
Andrew. Fleming (ancestor of the late Alexander Fleming, 
Davan), who was also a great drover, and in the habit of buying 
all the spare cattle in the district, and taking them to the 
southern markets, where he sold most of them to the famous 
Rob Roy Macgregor, who was a great crony of his, and who used 
often to visit him at Bleaton, on which occasions they both always 
went and spent a night with Spalding in Ashintully Castle, where 
the room in which they slept is called Rob Roy's room to this 
day. Having taken an extra large drove of cattle to the south 
and sold them at a good profit, Fleming was returning home up 
Strathardle with a large sum of money in his possession, when he 
was waylaid at Whillie's Burn, near Bridge of Cally, by Spalding 
of Ashintully, and his brother, David of Whitehouse, who knew 
when he was to return, where they robbed and murdered him, 
and threw his body in the burn. Spalding had arranged that his 
butler should go to Blairgowrie on that day, and return about 
the same time as Fleming, and as he was the only one seen pass- 
ing that way after Fleming, he was accused of the murder by the 
Spaldings, who had him tried, condemned, and hung at Ashin- 
tully. Froni that day began the decline and fall of the family, 
everything seemed to go against them, so that their power and 
their lands dwindled away, and their race died out, so that, at 
last, sad to tell, the widow of the last laird became a homeless 
tramp, begging her bread from door to door in Strathardle and 
Glenshee, and 1 have heard old men, whose grandfathers had 
given her food and shelter, relate how to the last her proud 
spirit and fiery temper were a terror to the good wives and 
children in the houses she frequented ; she was also a big power- 
ful, masculine woman, and always carried a huge stick, which she 
freely used when occasion required. 

But to return to the year 1601. Of all the wild and warlike 
race of Spaldings, the then chief, Andrew, and his son David, 
wore the most noted. They were never out of trouble, and for 
many years about this time there were several cases both for and 
against them at every meeting of the Privy Council, and there 
are scores of acts of caution binding them to keep the peace, to 

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76 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

which, of course, they paid no heed whatever. In this year they 
were before the Privy Council many times, especially for a raid 
they made on the lands of Catgibban, but they got off for want of 
proof. A clear case of " Guilty but not proven." 

In this year the Clan Menzies of Weem made a raid on 
Strathardle, and carried off the cattle belonging to William 
Chalmers of Nether Cioquhat, who complained to the Privy 
Council, and Alexander Menzies of Weem was at once ordered to 
enter Donald Menzies, the leader of the raid, on a certain day 
before the Council. The Menzies chief agreed to "enter the 
said Donald, provyding he wer leving." When the day of trial 
came, at Perth, on 7th August, 1602, Donald was not "leving,'' 
so the Laird of Menzies pleaded " that he could naways enter the 
said Donald, quha hed been cruellie and unmercifullie slain by 
certain of his seruandis." So the Lords ordered Menzies to pay 
,£81 to Chalmers as compensation for the stolen cattle under pain 
of rebellion. 

1602. — But of all the raids of this stirring period, the most 
unfortunate for Strathardle took place on the 4th August of this 
year, when Alexander M 'Ranald of Gargavach, the tenth Chief of 
the M'Donnells of Keppoch, with 200 men, consisting of the 
McDonnells of Keppoch and Glengarry, the Mackintoshes, 
and the Macgregors of Glenstrae, made a raid on Glen- 
isla, Glenshee, and Strathardle, slew many of the people, 
plundered and burnt their houses and carried off 2700 
cattle and 100 horses. This Alexander M 'Ranald, the then 
chief of Keppoch, was the renowned " Alastair nan Cleas," 
Alexander of the Tricks, so famous in song and story, and the hero 
of so many Highland traditions, especially connected with the 
" Black Art," of which he was reckoned the greatest master ever 
known in the Highlands. He received his early education at 
Rome, where he also attended the school of Black Art, of which 
old Satan himself specially acted as head professor. Here he 
proved so able a scholar that he ultimately outwitted his teacher, 
the grand master himself. As the story goes, Satan's reward was 
that at the end of every day's teaching he carried off the last 
student who remained in the room. Now Alastair generally 
managed to be out amongst the foremost, but the other students 
being jealous of him, they formed a plot to block his way and 
keep him back. In this they succeeded, and as he was going out 
of the door last, Satan caught him and claimed him as his lawful 
fee, but Alexander of the Tricks was equal to the occasion, and in 
good Lochaber Gaelic he said — "Thafear eile na m' dheidh " — 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 77 

" There is another fellow after me," at the same time pointing to 
his shadow, which the bright sunshine threw on the wall. Satan 
instantly let him go and grabbed at the shadow, so Alastair 
escaped " that time," and at once returned to Locbaber, where his 
father, Ranald, having died during his absence, be at once 
succeeded, but ever after to the day of his death, let the sun 
shine ever so bright, he cast no shadow, as Satan had gone with 
it. Such is the old tradition so well known and so firmly believed 
in all over the Highlands during the last three centuries, and it 
almost seems a pity to spoil it by the modern up-to-date version 
given in last December's Celtic Monthly, where, in an 
account of the Chiefs of Keppoch, the following occurs : — 
"Alasdair X. of Keppoch is said to have been in Rome 
finishing his education at the time of his father's death. 
He was famous in his day and in his country as a per- 
former of miracles. It would seem that part of the education 
he received at Rome was a knowledge of arts akin to the 
'three card' and other 'sleight of hand' tricks of to-day, a 
knowledge which would have been beyond the understanding of 
his uninitiated countrymen, and which could easily account for the 
marvellous powers attributed to him. It was owing to his having 
been an adept in this way that he came to be known as l Alasdair 
nan Cleas ' (Alexander of the tricks). He was considered one of 
the most accomplished men of his day." 

After Alastair and his Lochaber men had harried Glenisla, they 
journeyed west through Glenkilry and "Strathardle with their 
plunder, and driving the 2700 cattle and 1 00 horses before them. The 
Glenisla men had sent word of the raid, and asked the assistance 
of the Strathardle people, so the fiery cross was sent round, and a 
party of Strathardle men under the Baron Ruadh of Straloch, and 
Spalding of Ashintully attacked the Lochaber men near Ennoch- 
dhu, where a fierce and bloody battle took place. The Baron 
Ruadh, a wise and prudent soldier, seeing the enemy in such force, 
was following them up in the rear, waiting till all his people would 
have time to gather, but Spalding of Ashintullie, always hasty and 
headstrong, coming up with a few men, at once began the battle, 
so to save him the Baron had to join in also, but though they 
fought with desperate valour, the Strathardle men were so few in 
numbers that they got badly cut up before the main body of their 
men could gather. There were sixteen gentlemen of the district 
slain in this attack, besides a great many men, as we are told in 
the Privy Council Records — " They slew the nowmber of sextene 
special gentlemen of the countrie, hurtit and wounded to the deid 

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78 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

a grite nowmer of uthir persons." But the Strathardle men began 
to gather in force from all directions, and fought so bravely that 
Keppoch soonsawthat he would have to retreat and leave all his spoil 
— " and because they could nocht guidlie get the said guidis caryit 
away with thame, they maist barbarouslie and crewellie hochit, slew, 
and gorrit the maist pairt of the said cattel to the great hurt and 
prejudice of the common weal." At last the Lochaber men were 
totally defeated with great slaughter, and fled up Glenfernate, 
pursued to the marches of Badenoch by the enraged Strathardle 
men. The following complaint was laid before the Privy Council 
by the Strathardle lairds on December 16th, 160 f i : — Privy Council 
Records, Vol. VI., page 500. "Complaint by John Robertson of 
Straloch, Andrew Spalding of Ashintullie. Lauchlan Farquharson 
of Bruchdearg, John Rattray of Dalrylane, Walter Rattray of 
Borland, Colin Campbell in Glenisla, Archibald Campbell of Persie, 
John Ogilvie cf Freuch, and the other good subjects in Strath- 
ardle and Glenshee, as follows : — Upon 4th August last, Alex. 
M'Ranald of Gargavach, Donald and Ranald M'Ranald his 
brothers, John Dow M 'Ranald, Allane and Angus M'Ranald his 
sons, Allester M'Eane Vclnnes, John, Angus, Donald, and Ranald 
his sons, with others to the number of 200 persons, all theives and 
sorners of the Clan Chattan and Clan Gregor, and all Donald 
M'Angus of Glengarry's men, armed with bows, haberchons, 
hagbuts, and pistolets, came to Glenyla, and there reft all the 
goods within the said bounds, consisting of 2700 nolt, 100 horses 
and mares, with the plenishing of the country, whereupon the 
' effray being rissen in the country/ the complainers, in obedience 
to the laws and acts cf Parliament anent rising at affrays, and 
following of theives, ' conveint thamsellfs togidder, sa mony as 
they could mak on a suddene, and followed the said theives and 
lymmers of puipose and intention to have releivit the geir, and to 
have apprehendit and presentit the offendours to justice. And so 
many of the said complainers as were convenient for the time 
having enterit with the said theives, they maist crewellie and 
unmercifullie set upon the said complainers, slew the nowmer 
of fyftene or sextene special gentlemen of the country, hurtit 
and woundit to the deid a grite nowmer of uthir personis, and 
because they could not guidlie get the said guidis caryit away with 
thame, they most barbarouslie and crewellie hochit, slew, and 
gorrit the maist pairt of the said guidis to the gret hurt and pre- 
judice of the common weal." Now, George, Marquis of Huntley, 
and Lachlan Macintosh of Dunauchtane ought to enter the 
defenders because they are their men, and dwell upon their 'lands. 

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Sketches of Stvathardle. 79 

Charge had been given to the Marquis to appear himself, and 
enter the said men, ps also to the said Donald M 'Angus of Glen- 
garry, and to Allastair M'Gregor of Glenstrae — many thieves and 
broken men of whose clan were present by his direction at the 
said deed — to appear and 'answer ; and now Andrew Spalding of 
Ashjntullie appearing for himself and the other pursuers, but none 
of the defenders appearing, and the said malefactors not having 
been entered, the order is to denounce Huntley, Glengarry, and 
Glenstrae rebels. The letters of horning are, however, to be 
suspended to Candlemas next, that the King and Council " may 
yet understand quhat diligence the said Marquis will do " in the 
entry of the said Allester by that time towards the redress of the 

Instead of appearing, as ordered, before the Privy Council in 
Feb., 1602, to answer for their great raid on Strathardle, "Alex- 
ander of the Tricks," and the other M 'Ranald chieftains of the 
Keppoch Clan, did what was far more to their taste, they 
assembled, but, instead of going to Edinburgh, they went north 
the way of Inverness on a plundering expedition as usual, and 
which they carried out with their usual feiocity. This is proved 
by the following complaint to the Privy Council by John Campbell, 
Commissary of Inverness, P.C. Records, Vol. VI., page 369 : — 
"That the M 'Ranalds to the number of 60, all theives and sorners 
of clans, and all by the causing of the said Alexander M 'Ranald of 
Gargavach, came armed with bows, &c, to the complainers , 
houses and lands of Moy in fair daylight, and divided themselves 
into two companies for purposes of outrage. One company 
remained at pursuer's own place, " quhar thay tresscnablie and 
awfullie raised fyre, brunt, and destroyit his haill houssis and 
spulzied all. The other company passed to the house of the late 
John Buchan, pursuer's tenant, which they first spulzied and then 
tressonablie brunt, and moreover they took the said late James 
and Patrick Buchan his son and Robert Anderson his servant, and 
11 having maist schamefullie, cruellie, and barbourouslie cuttit of 
their leggis and armis, and utherwise dismemberit thame at their 
pleasour, they kaist thame quick in the fyre and thair brunt 
thame within the said houssis." They also carried off 20 oxen and 
60 sheep belonging to complainer, and " wrakit and herryit his 
haill pure tenantis within the said toun the lyk of whilk barbarous 
and heistlie cruel tie, commit tit so far within the incuntrie hes 
seldome bene herd of." 

The law was too weak at this time to reach Lochaber, so 
Keppoch and his clan escaped punishment for all these savage out- 

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80 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

rages and many more. Not only that, but I find that six years 
later, in 1608, Alexander M'Ranald had influence enough at 
Court to get the king to grant him a free pardon for these and all 
his other offences against the law. Truly he was well named 
" Alexander of the Tricks." Thi* pardon is preserved in the 
Register of the Great Seal:— " 2106 Apud Edinburgh 16 th June 
1608. Rex dedit litems remissionis Alexandro, alias Allaster 
M'Rannald de Gargavach pro ejus vita duraturas — pro arte and 
parte necis in Straythardill et Glenschie a.d. 1602, ant eocirca 
commissee ; ac pro arte et parte ignis excitati in domum Commis- 
sarii de Inverness, <fcc, et pro ceteris offensis, &c." The purport 
of which is that the King grants a free pardon to M'Rannald for 
his raid on Strathardle and Glenshee ; and also for burning the 
house of the Commissary of Inverness, &c, and for making a raid 
on Atholl in June 1608, and burning the house of Neil Stewart 
M'Gillecallum, and for many other offences. 

Alexander of the Tricks carried on the same kind of life for 
thirty-eight years after his famous raid on Strathardle, and held 
his lands of Keppoch by the right of the sword for over fifty 
years against the Government and all the powerful families of the 
north, and at last died a very old man in his bed — a death which 
few, indeed, of his race ever died. The gallant fighting Keppochs ! 
they won their lands by their swords, and they kept them by 
their swords, but they trusted too much and too long to their 
claymores, for when the old fighting days were past and gone, and 
when all the other lairds in the Highlands had secured charters 
for their lands, still the Keppochs refused to hold their lands by 
a " sheep-skin" charter, and still stuck to the sword, but others 
secured the despised parchment charters for the lands of Keppoch, 
with the result that, when the pen became mightier than the 
sword, the gallant Keppochs lost their lands, and to them the 
words of their old pibroch tune are only too true — " Tha a' 
Cheapach na 'fasach," " Keppoch is desolate." 

This was a very stirring time for Strathardle, for besides its 
own internal feuds, it being one of the main passes into the 
Lowlands caused it to be traversed by marauding clans from all 
quarters, as we can see from the Privy Council Records. Besides 
the complaint already given against the M 'Ranalds, there are other 
three in this same year. One on August 7th, by William 
M'Gillimoyle in Glenbrierachan, against the Robertsons of Struan 
for a raid on his lands ; another on September 9th, by Fergus 
M'Coull, in Straloch, against the Breadalbane Campbells ; and 
one on November 23, by Andrew Spalding of Ashintullie, against 
Lord Drummond and his clan for raiding his lands of Glenbeg. 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 81 

In the year 1600 a feud broke out between two great Angus 
families, the Ogilvies and Lindsays, and in a skirmish, in which 
the former, under the Master of Ogilvie, defeated the latter, who 
were led by Lord Spynie, who was Alexander Lindsay, fourth son 
of the tenth Earl of Crawford, the Robertsons of Straloch 
assisted the Ogilvies. Lord Spynie complained to the Privy 
Council, and the Ogilvies were ordered to come up for trial, Sir 
John Ogilvie of Inverquharity becoming surety for £10,000 that 
the Master of Ogilvie and all the others would enter in ward at 
Haddington within 48 hours to stand trial. But they did not, 
and the case was adjourned from time to time till 15th September, 
1602, when the Master of Ogilvie gave assurance, under pain of 
10,000 merks, and his brother, Sir John Ogilvie of Craig, under a 
penalty of 5000 merks, that the said Lord Spynie would be 
unharmed of them till 1st January, 1603: — "Yet, upon 26th 
November, 1602, when the said Lord Spynie, accompanied only 
by his wife, bairns, and three or four servants, was in his own 
dwelling place of Kinblethmont, and without armour, the said 
Master of Ogilvie, with Sir John, Mr David, Mr Francis, and Mr 
George, his brothers, Baron Reid, younger of Strathardill, and his 
brother, Leonard Robertson, Patrick Guthrie, son of Robert 
Guthrie, sometime of Kinblethmont, and others, resolvit upon 
ane nicht attack upon the said hous, be a maist detestable and 
unlauchful ingyne ef weir callit the pittart (petard). That nicht 
the said defenders, accompanied be an force of their freends to the 
nowmer of six score person is on horse and foot came to the said 
hous, and not only brocht with them the said detestable ingyne 
the pittart, bot lykwise feilding pieces, for beseigng the said 
place, gin the pittart shauld fail. Having affixit the said pittart 
to the principal yett of the said place, they forcablie blew up the 
said yett or ever the personis within knew of their being thair, 
and immediately at the blowing up of the yettis they schot, and 
dischargit thair feilding pieces at the windous of the said place of 
purpose to have slain sic personis, as upon the noise of the blow- 
ing up of the yett should cum to the waindois to understand what 
the matter meant. And so finding the yetts open to them they 
ruscheit in the said hous with their pistoles and drawn weapons 
in thair hands. They then serchit the said hous for the said 
Lord and his wife to murder them, bot be the provydence of God 
the said Lord had conveyed himself and familie out of the said 
house. Thereupon they assaltit the servandis and threatned to 
t.ortor them gin they did nocht reveil where thir master was. 
They endid by taking the hale plenishing, evidents, gold and 
silver in the house." 

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82 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

For this outrage the Ogilvies and Baron Reid were again 
ordered to appear before the Council, but failed, so their sureties 
were forfeited and the King denounced them rebels: — "Baron 
Reid, younger of Strathardill, and Leonard Robertson, his 
brother, being charget till appear, but not appearing, therefor 
His Majesty commands his Heines leiges and subjects quatsomever 
that nane of thame ressett, suplee, intercommoun with the said 
Baron Reid, younger, and Leonard Robertson, &c, denouncit 
rebels, and put to the horn for the crymes respective aboun 
written, nor furnis thame meit, drink, hous, nor harbory, ryde nor 
gang with thame, kype trystis, conventionis, nor meitings with 
thame, nor assist, nor tak pairt with thame in their actions and 
interpryssis during the time of their rebellion, under the pain of 
deid ; certifying thame that feilzes that they sal be taken, 
apprendit, and punneishit to the died without favour or mercy." 
To us, who are now accustomed to see the sentences of the law 
carried out, this seems rather a formidable sentence, but the 
Master of Ogilvie and the Baron Reid simply paid no heed 
whatever to it, but went on their way in search of new adventures. 

1603. — Still another raid on Strathardle, as Andrew Spalding 
of Ashintullie lodges a complaint with the Privy Council, on 
February 8th, against John, Earl of Montrose, whose men had 
raided his lands of Ashintullie. Andrew Spalding of Ashintullie, 
and his son David, are, as usual, tied down by several Acts of 
Caution this year not to harm their neighbours. On November 
15th Andrew Herring of Glasclune and his sons give Angus 
Fergusson, in Easter Cally, a charter of some lands there, " with 
their moors, fishings, and shealings " (Reg. Mag. Sig. VI., 2157). 

1605. — Kirkmichael, the capital of Strathardle, is a very 
ancient place, and in the days o* old was a place of much im- 
portance. At the very dawn of Christianity a church was built 
there, dedicated to St Michael, which, of course, gave it its name 
— Gill MJiwheil — the Cell or Kirk of St Michael, whose day, the 
Feill-Mhicheil — Feast of St Michael — is the 27th September, which 
is still commemorated by the Kirkmichael market. We have 
already seen that in King Robert Bruce's charter to young Neil 
Oampbell, in 1314, it is Killmychill, but it also, from its noted 
church, got several other clerical names, which we often find in 
different deeds about this time, such as KirkhUl, Kirkhillocks, 
Tom-an-t-Shagairt — the Priest's Hillock — and Tom-a'-Chlachain — 
the Hillock of the Stones. For instance, in a charter to David 
Spalding of Ashintullie, which shall afterwards be given in full at 
ts date in 1615, we read : — " Villas et terras de Kirktoun, vulgo 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 83 

Kirkhillock, alias Tomchlachan." This last name — " The Hillock 
of the Stones " — is the most ancient of all, and carries us back to 
the dim, misty, heathen ages when the Druids worshipped in their 
circles of stones. We have already seen in the beginning of this 
history of Strathardle that it is the most noted district in Britain 
for Druidical remains, and Chalmers, in his "Caledonia," says : — 
" In Kirkmichael, Parish of Strathardle, * the distinguished site of 
Druid remains in North Britain,' there are a number of Druid 
cairns in the vicinity of Druidical circles and other remains." 
Well, one of these Druidical circles stood at Tom-a-Chlachan — 
the Hillock of Stones — where the Manse of Kirkmichael now 
stands, and there two thousand years ago our rude ancestors 
worshipped, according to their faith, in their circle of stones, and 
there, as elsewhere, when the pioneers of Christianity came to the 
-district, they found it expedient to place their new church where 
the old circle of stones had stood, so the first church of St Michael 
was reared where the old clachan stood, on what the natives 
already considered holy ground. 

Colonel Robertson, in his " Gaelic Topography of Scotland," 
page 261, says — "The next prefix is one of much interest, as it 
is such clear proof that almost all the names were given in 
heathen times. It is that of clack and clachan, meaning a " stone" 
^,nd a " circle of stones." But clachan, besides meaning that last, 
is a distinctive appellation for a fane or place where heathen 
worship was held. Since Christianity was introduced, churches 
came to be built where the pagan stone circles had existed ; and, 
still later, in many cases where the clachans had been, houses, as 
well as a church, came to be built, and so these not acquainted 
with Gaelic, fancied clachan meant a hamlet or village, which is a 
mistake. There is an expression still used by the Highlanders 
which has reference to the point now spoken of, and which proves 
very strongly the Gaelic language of the present day being the 
same as spoken by the heathen Caledonian. This is in the 
expression employed in asking the question as to going to a place 
of worship, when it is common to say, Am bheil thu 'dol do'n 
chlachan, the meaning being, " Are you going * to the stones.' " 
No reference to a church, but " to the stones." From whence is 
it possible for this expression to have arisen except it had been in 
use by the heathen ancestors of the Highlanders when going to 
their stone circles, stones of sacrifice, and others dedicated to their 
deities ? and, of course, the meaning of the expression is, " Are 
you going to the worship to be held at the stones of sacrifice and 
.such like." 

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84 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Kirkmichael was at a very early date made a free burgh of 
barony, as I find in a charter of this date (1605) the lands of 
Kirkmichael, Balnauld, and Bain ak ill e (the latter also taking its 
name from the church — baile-na-cille — the town or place of the 
church, cemetery, or burial-ground), spoken of as "anciently- 
erected into a free burgh of barony." The good folk of Kirk- 
michael may well be proud of their ancient burgh, and though 
the tide of its prosperity for a time ebbed to rather low water^ 
still, now when that tide has returned, and is flowing so strongly 
and rapidly towards high water, I feel confident that the good old 
burgh will very soon surpass all its ancient grandeur and become 
a thriving and populous town, as well as become the capital of 
bonnie Strathardle. 

The charter I have just mentioned of Kirkmichael, <fec, was 
granted by King James VI. to Lord John Wemyis and his son, 
David Wemyis, a family who for long before and after this held 
tLo lands of Mill of Werie, above Kirkmichael. I may give the 
L llowing extract from this charter, as it is given in the " Register 
of the Great Seal of Scotland":— "27 January 1605. Rex con- 
cessit et pro bono servito Dominus Joannis Wemyis de eodem 
militis, de novo dedit Davidi Wemyis filio maximo natu, et heredi 
apparenti dicti Dominus . . . Villas Kirkhill — Kirmichael, 
Ballinkellie et Ballinnald, ab antiquo in liberos bur go baronia 
erecta" The Lord Wemyis' reign over Kirkmichael, &c, however^ 
was only a short one of ten years, as we will soon see that in 1615, 
when David Spalding got his lands of Ashintullie erected into a 
free barony, he, along with many others, got the lands of Kirk- 
michael, Ballnakillie, and Balnald added to Ashintullie. 

With all the trouble that the Privy Council had with the 
fighting lairds of Strathardle, one would think the Council would 
rather discourage war and fighting ; instead of that, we find them 
passing a special Act on January 3rd of this year, binding the 
Strath lairds, under heavy penalties, to buy arms from John, Earl 
of Atholl, and Sir Robert Crychtoun of Cluny, as follows : — 
"George Maxwell, son and heir of the late John Maxwell of Bal- 
girsho, for John Rory in Balmacrochie, John Mustard there,. 
Thomas Fergusson in Balmacrochie, John Bryson in Easter 
Dalnabric, John Schaw in Wester Dalnabric, John Keill M'Allane 
there, Allastair Bryson at the Mill of Pitcarmick, William Mawis 
there, John Schaw there, Thomas Murray in Balnabroich, DonaJd 
Dowlie in the Merkland, Andrew Reid in Balmy le, John Stewart 
there, Robert Rory there, Allastair Stewart in Wester Ballamaines, 
James Crichton in Bleaton, John Murray there, Donald Spalding, 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 8S 

in Enoch, Donald Harper there, John Adaine in the Lair, Richard 
M'Ewan Dowy, Lachlan Farquharson in Bruchdearg, James Spalding 
in Corydon, and AUastair Rattray in Mill of Enoch, each of them 
to buy from John, Earl of Atholl, and Sir Robert Crychton of 
Cluny such quantity of arms as it shall be found they ought to 
buy, under the pain of £50 for each stand." 

Tt was well for the Strathardle men that they got their new 
arms, and also that they could use them so well, for immediately 
after their old enemies, the Campbells of Glenlyon, under their 
young chief, Duncan Campbell, apparent of Glenlyon, made a 
sudden raid on Glenshee and the Braes of Ardle, when some 
desperate fighting took place ; but the Campbells, being a very 
strong party, got off with the spoil, by slipping quickly out of the 
country, up Glenderby and by Logierait and Strathtay, into the 
Breadalbane country, before the Strathardle men, who were mostly 
all away at a great wedding at the lower end of the Strath, could 
be gathered to pursue them. Spalding of Ashintullie complained 
to the Kinjr, and the Captaiu of the Guard "was orderit to hae 
Duncan Campbell, apparent of Glenlyon, and his associates appra- 
hendit for stealing frae William M'Nicoll in Little Fortere 70 head 
of oxen and kye out of Rowenry in Glensche ; and 44 oxen grazing 
n Glen Tirrie belonging to Spalding of Ashintullie." 

1606. — The Spaldings of Ashintullie being at feud with 
Chalmers of Drumlochy, they assaulted him in his place of 
Cloquhat, and did a lot of damage there. Drumlochy complained 
to the Privy Council, and the Spaldings were ordered to appear, 
but of course did not, so on March 20th the Council decreed : — 
•" That A. Spalding and uthers being persewed be Drumlochie for 
oppressioun and not compeirand decreit is given against 
thame, and they are ordainit to be chargit — be oppin proclama- 
tion at the Mercut Crpce of Perth, because they are brokin 
hielandmen — to enter in wardie within XV. days* under paine 
of rebellion." As usual they paid no heed to the terrors of the law. 
As this was the golden age of cattle-lifting in Athole, when every- 
one either " lifted " or " was lifted," it is only natural that some 
men would come to the front and shine above their fellows in this 
exciting and, as it was then reckoned, honourable profession. The 
old song says of Rob Roy : — 

" Let England boast her Robin Hood, 
Auld Scotland had a thief as good." 

Now, if we change the word Scotland into Strathardle, Athole, 
Lochaber, or almost any other district in the Highlands, we find it 

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86 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

equally applicable, most districts haviDg had " a thief as good " of 
their own. Strathardle's foremost thief who flourished at this time 
was the famous Iain Dhu MacSheoc — John Dhu M'Jokie or Spald- 
ing, in Bleaton, who is described in the Privy Council Records 
(Vol. VIII., p. 274) as " Johnne Dow M'Jokie alias Spalding, in 
Bleaton, a notorious thief" It was this MacSheoc or M'Jokie,. 
"the Son of Little John," that first originated the well-known 
Strathardle proverb: — "Mur biodh rau'n phoit ach MacSheoc's an 
liadh " — " If there were none about the pot but MacJokie and the 

ladle ." The origin of this proverb was at a great feast given 

by the chief of the Spalding9 at his Castle of Ashintully, to which 
not only the Spaldings were invited, but also the Baron Ruadh, 
Small of Dirnanean, Rattray of Dalrulzion, and all the other great 
men of the Strath. After the dinner was over, M'Jokie, who had 
been away on some of his cattle-lifting expeditions, arrived on the 
scene, and the chief of Ashintullie, with whom he was a great 
favourite, at once proceeded to get him some food, and offered him 
his choice of all left on the table. M'Jokie, looking round, espied 
a large pot sitting beside the great hall fire, containing some 
warm broth, which he at once lifted on to a side table, 
and, getting hold of a large silver ladle, he proceeded to 
help himself therewith out of the pot. Ashintullie also 
brought him a huge sirloin of beef, and as he did not see a 
carving knife about he drew his own richly mounted silver dirk 
and laying it beside the beef told M'Jokie to help himself when 
ready, and passed on to attend to his other guests. Now it so 
happened that a very near relation of Ashintullie's, who had long 
coveted his beautiful dirk, happened to come the way, and seeing 
the dirk lying there, and as all the other guests were otherwise 
engaged, and M'Jokie exceedingly busy with his ladle, with his 
head deep down in the huge pot, he could not resist the tempta- 
tion, so he quietly lifted the dirk and slipped it into the folds of 
his plaid. Ashintullie coming round soon after missed his dirk 
and asked M'Jokie for it, who truly told him he knew nothing 
about it. The hot and hasty Chief did not believe this, and at 
once got in a towering passion and accused M'Jokie of stealing 
his dirk, and it very likely would have ended in his usual way of 
settling these matters, by instantly ordering M'Jokie to be 
hanged, had not Small of Dirnanean, a very shrewd, observant 
gentleman, who had seen the whole performance from a quiet 
corner, stepped forward, and laying his hand on Ashintullie's 
shoulder, said — "Mur biodh mu'n phoit ach Mac Sheoc 's an 
liadh " — " If there were none about the pot but M'Jokie and the 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 87 

ladle " — then he gave the guilty man a long, steady look which 
made him look very guilty and confused, and Ashintullie at once 
guessing how matters stood, finished the sentence by adding — 
" cha robh mo bhiocjag air chall " — " then my dirk had not been 
lost," and not wishing to bring public disgrace on his own family, 
he turned away and ordered his piper to strike up a Highland 
reel, and very curiously, when the dance was ended, the dirk was 
found stuck upright in the sirloin of beef, and after that all was 
mirth and fun ; and ever since that night, when one loses anything 
and does^not like publicly to accuse their neighbour, they use the 
careful, canny expression of the old laird of Dirnanean — " If there 
were none about the pot but M'Jokie and the ladle" — and, like 
him, they leave the rest unsaid. 

We must now leave Black John Spalding of Strathardle, for 
Black John Stewart of Atholl — " a thief as good " if not better 
than M'Jokie himself — who also flourished at this time, and who 
got into trouble this .year. He was the notorious Ian Dhu 
M'Gillecallum, Black John Stewart of Auchinarkmoir, who, along 
with his brothers Neil and Allistair, were the most daring cattle- 
lifters that ever wore the Atholl tartan, and that is saying a great 
deal, as the district at this time swarmed with daring cattle-lifters. 
We read in " Chambers' Domestic Annals " : — " Atholl of auld was 
most quiet and peaceable, and inhabit by a number of civil and 
answerable gentlemen, professed and avowed enemies of thieves, 
robbers, and oppressors. It now had become very louss and 
broken, an ordinary resett for the thieves and broken men of the 
north and south Highlands, and moreover a nowmer of the native 
people, sic as John Dow M'Gillecallum, and his complices, shakin 
aff ail fear of God and reverence for his Majesty and the laws, ar 
become maist insolent, committin wild detestable murthers, open 
reifFs, privy stoutrie, barbarous houghing and goring off oxen, and 
uther enormities." John Dhu was a great favourite with everyone 
in Atholl from the Earl downwards, as he was very brave, and 
kind-hearted to the poor, and ever ready to avenge, with interest, 
any raid on the district by neighbouring clans, so he was aided 
and resetted by the Earl and all the gentlemen of Atholl, especially 
in Strathardle by the Baron Ruadh of Straloch. 

So notorious had John Dhu become that we at this time find 
the King writing from London about him to the Chancellor of 
Scotland, the Earl of Dunfermline, *nd other Privy Councillors : — 
"Whitehall, Dec. 10th, L606. — Richt trustie and well-beloved 
cosins and Councellouris, wee grite you heartily well : — Whereas 
wee are certified of the mony detestable villanyies and murthers 

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$8 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

committit by John Dow Mack Gyllychallum Stewart in Atholl, 
and herewith being surely enformed that he is resette and 
ordinarily entertainit by Baron Reid in Atholl, Allester Tarlach- 
son of Inchmagreunich, Neil Stewart M 'Gyllychallum, brother to 
the said John Dow, and Neil Stewart of Fosse, thereupon wee 
have thought good to will and require you, that yee give present 
order for the apprehension of these four persons, resetters and 
entertainers of the said John Dow Mack Gyllychallum, and upon 
their taking, that \ee presentlie committe thame to sorqe warde 
and prison, there to remain till the said John Dow be exhibited 
and produced before you for their relief out of warde. Which 
being done, yee shall then certify us thereof, to the effect we may 
signify our further pleasour, and will concearning the aforesaid 
fower personis also, and remitting the same to your special cair 
and deligence wee bid you heartily farewell." — Records Privy- 
Council, Vol. VIII., p. 504. On the receipt of this letter, the 
Privy Council at once ordered the Earl of Atholl to produce the 
Baron Ruadh, and the other three gentlemen named, before them, 
but he refused to do so. 

1607. — Though warned several times, the Earl of Atholl still 
refused to give up the Baron Ruadh, and other resetters of John 
Dhu, so the Privy Council denounced him a rebel, and passed a 
special Act not to relieve him of his rebellion till he surrendered 
himself to them in the Castle of Edinburgh. The Council 
answered the King's letter as follows: — " Anent the. state of the 
Heylandis, we haif not had any great insolence thair this long 
tymc. Yitt upoun the first bruite thereof and your Majestie's 
directions thairanent delyverit be your Majestie's Secretair at his 
returning, they directit chairges against the Earl of Athole for 
exhibition of the criminals, and in respect of his dissobedyence 
after two continuations granted unto him, he is denouncit and 
registered to the home, and ane Act made that no suspension sal 
be grantit till he first enter in warde within the Castell of Edin- 
burgh." — Records Privy Council, Vol. VII., page 508. 

As the Privy Council strongly enforced the Act of rebellion 
against the Earl of Atholl, he had " to enter himself in warde, 
within the Castell of Edinburgh," and when the King a\hs 
informed of his surrender, he wrote again to the Council as 
follows :-- Feb. 21st, 1607. " Quhairas we understand that the 
Earl of Atholl is committit to warde in the Castell of Edii* burgh 
for not exhibiting before you of John Dow McGyllychallum, and 
certain other broken men, and sorneris having thair stay, resi- 
dence, and common resett within the boundis of Atholl, we have 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 89 

"therefore thocht meete to signify unto you our will and pleasour, 
that not onlie would we have you detain the said Earl of Atholl 
still in wardt>, and upon no condition ony way relieve him furth 
thereof, till first these broken men for which he is chargit be 
enterit, bot that you also call the chief gentlemen and principal 
men of quality within the boundis of Atholl before you, and such 
of thame as ather ar justilie suspectit of ony re sett of these broken 
men, or whose stealling may mak them be presented, we would 
liave to be committit to some of your prisons, in lyke manner 
therein to remain quhill be the dilligence of their friendis and 
servandis that our countrie may be purged from keeping within it 
ony of such dissobedyent subjectis, and, willing you upon no 
respect without exhibition of these people to grant ony favour, 
herein we bid you richt heartily farewell." — Records Privy 
-Council, VII., page 511. As John Dhu M'Gillecallum could not 
be captured, the Earl of Atholl was kept on a prisoner in Edin- 
burgh for over a year, till the King saw that his detention did 
no good. Then he sent for the Earl to Court, and gave him a 
great lecture, and sent him back to Atholl to try and pacify the 
country. Meantime the Privy Council appointed a guard or 
watch over Atholl, to try and keep the peace, and James Gordon 
of Lismore undertook to apprehend John Dhu M'Gdlecallum and 
his brother Allister, " and at- length he lichtit upon the limmers, 
an after a lang an het combat, and the slaughter of fower or five 
of the principal of thame, the said Allister was apprendid, and 
John Dhu, being very evill hurt, by the darkness of the nicht 
escapit." Allister, who had many murders on his head, was 
brought to Edinburgh, and in spite of all the efforts of his friends, 
was tried and hanged 

1609. — When the Earl of Atholl was sent back by the King, 
after being so long in ward in Edinburgh Castle, to Atholl, he 
found the district so disturbed, and his estates so much in debt, 
that he offered to sell his earldom to the King, who, however, 
thought the debt too heavy, so His Majesty chose Lord Blantyre 
for the bargain. Atholl got a lot of money from Lord Blantyre, 
and then escaped from his lordship's house, where he was placed 
in custody till the agreement would be settled, and returned to 
Atholl. Upon hearing this, the King at once ordered Atholl to 
be again apprehended, and recompense to be made to Lord 
Blantyre for the money advanced to Athoil, and the King wrote 
again to the Privy Council, as follows : — " Whitehall, March 7tl«, 
1609. — Richt trustie and weill-belovit cosins and councellors we 
greete you weele : — ' The disourderit estate of the boundis of 

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90 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

At holl, and the daily increase and growth of brokin men ard 
sornaris committing divers insolences and outrages lx>th within 
that bound is, and als in the neighbouring pairts moved us to com- 
mit the Earl of Atholl (who be his place ought to haif remedit the 
same) in warde within our Castell of Edinburgh. Bot finding his 
retaining to procure small amendment, we did therefore send for 
him to our Courts «fcc., <fcc.' " The letter then goes on to tell of 
the bargain with Lord Blantyre, and of Atholl's escape, and orders 
him to be apprehended again. 

1610. — Two days were appointed for Atholl to appear before 
the Privy Council, but he paid no heed, but lived with his friends 
in Atholl, the chief of whom was the Baron Ruadh, our old friend 
the Baron Cutach, and upon this being reported to the Council, 
the Baron and others were denounced rebels, as will be seen by 
the following: — "August 1610. — Complaint by Sir Thomas- 
Hamilton for His Majestie's interest that notwithstanding the 
proclomation made at the Mercat Croces of Banff and Perth, 
discharging the leiges from resetting on intercommuniug with 
James Earl of Atholl, wl o had been put to the horn 28th Febru- 
ary and 7th March, 1609, for not appearing before the Council 
to answer for escaping from Walter Lord Blantyre, to whose 
custody he had been committed by His Majestie's direction, yet 
John Cummison of Edradour, Johnne Robertson of Straloche, and 
Donald Reid in Logierait, have at divers times since the said 
denunciation resetted and entertained the said Earl in their 
houses as if he were a free man. Defenders for not appearing to 
be denounced rebels." Records Privy Council, Vol. IX.-113. 

The Baron Ruadh also got into trouble at the same time for 
rescuing our old friend of the ladle — John Dhu M'Jokie or 
Spalding, from the Murrays, who had been sent to Strathardle to 
apprehend him by their Chief William, Master of Tullybardine, 
Sheriff Principal of Perthshire : — " David Spalding of Eschentullie 
appears as procurator for John Robertson of Straloch, and gives 
in a copy of letters raised by William, Master of Tullybardine, 
Sheriff Principal of Perthshire, charging Robertson to appear per- 
sonally this day, and bring with him Johnne Dow M'Jokie alias 
Spalding, in Bleaton, a notorious thief, and also to answer a com- 
plaint by the said Sheriff for taking the said John Dow off the 
hands of David and Thomas Murray's in Strathairdill while they 
were bringing him to the Sheriff. The said procurators having 
enterict the said John Dow, protests in respect to the absence of 
the Sheriff that Robertson shall not be held to answer further in 
this matter till newly warned : and the Lords admit the protest." 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 91 

Records Privy Council, Vol. VIII.-274. No sooner was this rest- 
less Baron Cutach out of one scrape or skirmish than he was into 
another ; so we next find him along with Farquharson of Inver- 
cauld, and other five gentlemen of the Clan Farquharson, engaged 
in a raid, in which they slaughtered James Clerk in Auldranie. 
Clerk's widow appealed to the Privy Council against the 
" slauchterers" of her husband, though she does not seem to have 
mourned very long for him, a<j we find her married to another in 
a few months. According to Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, the Baron 
and the Farquharson's were : — " Dilaitit of airt and pairt of the 
slauchter of umqle James Clerk in Auldranie committit in anno 
1610. Compeirit Thomas Sinclair and Robert Auchinleck as pro- 
curators speciallie constitute be Elespeth, now the relict, and be 
Andro Howie, now his spous, for his enteries, <fcc, «fco. — And in 
name and at command of the said Elspeth, and hir spous, past 
simplicitir fra the persute of the haill personis or pannells, &c, &c. 
The pannells protests that thai wer nane of thame, be callit on 
persewit for the said allegit slauchter in ony tyme coming." No 
doubt the Council thought that Elspeth did not deserve com- 
pensation for her first husband, when she got a second in a few 
months, so they took no more notice of the case. 

At this time and for three years after we also find David 
Spalding of Ashintullie once more in trouble with the Privy 
Council for harbouring and resetting Alexander Ruthven of Free- 
land, who, along with the whole race of Ruthven, was outlawed 
by King James for the Gowrie conspiracy. Spalding had to 
appear four times before the Council — " for the allegit tressonabie 
resetting, supplying and maintaining of Alex. Ruthven, His 
Majestie's declared tratour, within his dwelling places of Essin- 
tullie and Enoche." Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, Vol. III. p 72. 
As there was no evidence against Spalding, these trials were 
always adjourned, and at last were quietly dropped. 

1611. — We have already seen that the Clan Fergusson held 
most of the lands in Middle Strathardle and the third part of 
Glenshee, and we now find Finlay Fergusson of Baledmund 
getting a charter of most part of Glenbrierachan. — Records of the 
Clan Fergusson, page 91 :— "The original Feu-charter of Bal- 
edmund is dated 17th Dec. 1611, and by it Sir Arch. Stewart of 
Syunart, Knight, conveys all and whole the forty-shilling land 
of Baledmund with the three pendicles of Glenbrierachan on the 
east part of Edraharvie, called the funny runrig of Tomquhollan, 
and other two pendicles called the east part of the Glen, vulgarly, 
the est end of the Glen, and the sheilings called Ruichragan, 

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92 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ruicraigvrackie, and the half of Ruibaslintuirk, and siclike all 
and whole the twenty-shilling eightpenny land of the west end of 
the Haugh of Dalshian, &c, in favour of Finlay Fergusson of 
Baledmund, his heirs and assignees." Sasine was taken on 16th 
January, 1612. 

1613. — At this time the cruel laws against the persecuted 
Clan Gregor, were carried out with great vigour, and we find a 
great many of the leading gentlemen of Atholl and Strathardle, 
especially of the Clan Fergusson, very heavily fined for resetting 
them, and supplying them with food and shelter. Amongst 
others, we find our old friend the Baran Cutach of Straloch fined 
2000 merks. I think the bold Baron and the other gentlemen of 
Strathardle deserve great credit for doing so much and suffering 
so much for Clan Gregor, considering that only eleven years had 
passed since the Macgregors in strong force assisted Keppoch and 
his M 'Ranalds in their great raid on Strathardle, when they 
carried off 2700 cattle, and killed fifteen gentlemen of the Strath. 
The following are the names and amount of fines, from the Privy 
Council Records, Vol. X., page 148:—" Sept. 15th, 1613. For- 
samckle as the resetts and supplie which the infamous theives and 
lymmairis of the Clangregour hes had in divers pairtes of the 

countrie According whereto the Commissioners 

within the scheriffdom of Perth, hes desceruit, adjudgit, and fynit 
the persons particularly underwritten, and every one of them in 
the soumes of money following : — Adam Fergusson in Drum- 
fernate, 100 merks ; Allaster Fergusson in Ballvoulin, 200 merks; 
Donald Fergusson in Inchndow, ,£100 ; John Fergusson of the 
Haugh, .£50 ; Thomas Fergusson of Ballyoukiu, 500 merks ; 
Adam Fergusson of Ballichandie, 300 merks ; John Fergusson of 
Inch, 50 merks : Patrick Stewart of Straloch, 1000 merks ; Charles 
Fleming there, 100 merks ; Allaster Stewart M William M'Neil in 
Straloch, 500 merks; Walter Rattray of Borland, 200 merks ; 
Allaster M'Intailzeour in Glenbrierachan, £100 ; John Moncrieff 
in Edraharvie, 500 merks ; John Robertson of Straloch, alias 
Baron Reid, 2000 merks." The Baron Cutach's usual smartness in 
getting out of difficulties failed him on this occasion, as he " was 
fynit, and every one of thame, in the soumes of monie mentioned." 
So the Baron paid the fine, and with the assistance of the Mac- 
gregors, he very soon repaid himself with full interest by raids on 
his foes, Celtic and Saxon. 

Now, though we have had to deal with nothing but wars and 
rumours of wars in Strathardle for a long time, we must not con- 
clude that the arts of peace were totally neglected there during 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 93 

those troublous times, and it is pleasant to record that early in 
this year, the minister of the parish of Rattray, who was John 
Rattray, of the family of Craighall, petitioned the Privy Council 
to get a bridge built over the river at Craighall. A great many 
lives were being continually lost there when the river was in flood,, 
and as the pass is so very narrow, there could be no traffic pass 
except when the river was very low, and this being the only 
entrance to Strathardle, and one of the great passes into the High- 
lands, a bridge was urgently needed there. The good minister's 
petition says : — " In stormy weather there is no ford, and very oft, 
for the space of aucht days together, all passage of the water, 
either by boat, horse, or foot, is interupted, to the great hinder of 
His Majesty's subjects, and to the extreme hazard of many of 
their lives, of whom, during the time the supplicand has attended 
the Kirk of Rattray, auchteen persons to his knowledge have 
perished in that water." The petition was successful ; an order 
was issue.d for a general subscription to build a bridge, and it was. 
built this year, and it proved one of the most useful and beneficial 
things ever done in the district. 

1615. — On January 10th of this year, the lands of Ashintullie- 
were erected into a free barony in favour of David Spalding, with 
many privileges, amongst which were, that he was to have the > 
ancient free burgh of Barony of Kirkmichael, " of old erected," 
with the privilege of holding a weekly market there, to be held on 
the lands of Balnakille and Balnauld I may here mention that 
for over two centuries these weekly markets were held on 
the march between these two lands of Balnakille and Bal~ 
nauld, at the little burn that crosses the road half-way 
between Kirkmichael and Balnauld, and as it became the 
custom at these markets for the buyer to stand on one side of the 
burn and the seller on the other, and as all monies were paid 
across the burn, it got the name of " Allt-an-airgioid " — Money 
Burn, or as it is more commonly called, " the Siller Burn," to this 
day. Spalding also got the privilege of holding two yearly fairs 
on the same lands. One of these, " ane yeerlie free ffair, on the 
penult day of Sept. callit Michaelmas ffair," which was to last for 
five days, was the origin of the famous " Felll Mhicheil," Michael- 
mas market, which, for two hundred years, was the greatest 
market in all Scotland, where all the Highland drovers met their 
customers from the Lowlands, who came there to buy cattle to 
carry into England or the south of Scotland. This great fair 
used to last sometimes for a fortnight before all the business waa 
done, during which time many hundreds of both Highlanders and 

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94 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Lowlanders used to be encamped on the market stance. This 
continued on till about the beginning of this century, when, to a 
great extent, Scotch drovers ceased going to England with cattle, 
and English dealers came themselves to buy the Highland cattle ; 
and as they grumbled at having to come so far north as Kirk- 
michael, the Highlanders compromised the matter by going the 
length of Falkirk to meet them, as being a more central meeting 
place. So the business gradually became transferred there, 
and the glory of the great Michaelmas Market departed from 
Kirkmichael, very much to the regret of the youth of the Strath, 
to whom the fair was the great holiday of the year, and for which 
their few pennies w r ere carefully hoarded up for months. 

As this Ashintullie charter is a very interesting and valuable 
document, I may give the most of it here : — " Hereby, our 
Sovereign Lord, with the advice and consent of the Lords Com- 
missioner of the Treasurie — Gives, grants, and dispones, to the 
said David Spalding of Ashintullie, and airs male of his body,- 
whilks failzing, to his airs male whatsomever, and their assigneyes 
heretablie and irredeemablie all and haill the said David Spalding 
his third part of the Lands of Strathardell, comprehending the 
lands, and others particularly underwritten, viz. — all and haill 
the Mains of Ashintully, towns and lands of Over and Nether 
Weries, Viith the mill, mill-lands, multures, and sequells of the 
same. The town and lands of Spittal, with the mill thereof, mill- 
lands, multures, and sequalls of the same, with the crofts called 
the Chappell Crofts ; the glen commonly called Glenbeg ; town 
and lands of Cammis, of Tomzecharrow, of Dathnagane, of 
Soilzeries, over and Nether Tomenamowen, Tomphin and Bal- 
lachraggan. The lands of Pitviran, towns and lands of Easter 
Downie, of Balnald, of Balnakillie, of Glengenat (Glen Derby), of 
Dalreoch, of Wester and Middle Inverchroskie, of Kirktoune, 
commonly called Kirkhillock, alias Tomchlachan (Kirkmichael). 
With all and sundrie their towers, fortalices, manor-places, woods, 
fishings, annexis, connexis, dependances, tennents, tennendries, 
services of free tenants, pairts, pendicles, and universal pertinents 
whatsomever of the aforesaid third part of the saids lands of 
Strathardell, alswell not named as named within the Sheriffdom of 
Perth. With the privilidge of ane zeerlie free flair to be holden 
upon the ground of the said lands of Kirktoun, commonly called 
Kirkhillock, or upon the said lands of Balnauld or Balnakille, the 
penult day of Sept. called Michaelmas flair. And ane weeklie 
mercat together with the Burgh of Baronie of Kirktoun, vulgarly 
-called Kirkhillock, alias Tomchlachan, of old erected, together 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 95 

also with the advocation, donation, and right of patronage of the 
Paroch Church and Parochin of Kirkmichael, with the teinus, 
parsonage, and vicarage of the same, and which haill lands, Burgh 
of Baronie, patronage, and others above disponed, with the per- 
tinents, are erected in one haill and free Baronie, to be called the 
Baronie of Ashiutully, conform to this charter granted by us 
under our Great Seal in favour of David Spalding of Ashintully 
upon this date, 10th January I. m VI. C and XV. years." This 
charter was again ratified and confirmed in 1674, and again more 
fully in 1681, when more lands in Strathardle were added, with 
more privileges by King James VII., all of which I will notice 
when I come to those dates. 

1618. — With the view of stopping the continual feuds and 
fightings in the Highlands, the Scots Parliament had passed an 
Act forbidding the carrying of firearms, to which Act, however, 
the clansmen paid no heed what aver, but went on with their raids 
and feuds as usual for some years, till the Privy Council at length 
resolved to prosecute any defaulters they could lay hands on for 
contravening this Act. So, as Strathardle lay just inside the 
Highland border, and as its leading men were in the constant 
habit of visiting the Lowlands, always of course fully armed, 
contrary to this new law, it was easy for the authorities to get 
proof against them, so we find in this year the Council prosecuting 
the following worthies " for having fur six years carried hagbuts 
and pistoles, against the law " : — David Spalding of Ashintullie ; 
Patrick M'Leith, in Camis, Glenshee ; Richard M'Endowie, in the 
Spittal ; George M'Eane Vc Condoquhy and Allistei M'Condoquhy, 
in Cuithill ; Allister M'Phatrick Vc Comis in Stornloyne ; Robert 
M'Intoshe in Dalvungie ; William Spalding and Allister Anderson 
in Innedrie ; William Ferquhair, in Fayingang ; Patrick Tearlach- 
son, in Laiz ; John M'Intoshe alias M 'Ritchie, in Soilzerie ; David 
Wemyss, son of James Wemyss, Mill ot Werie ; Allister Robertson, 
in Downie ; Robert Robertson Rioch, in Cultolonie ; John Neilson, 
son of John Dow Neilson, in Dalnagarden ; Duncan Robertson, in 
Kirkmichael ; Allister Robertson, son 6f Duncan Neilson, some- 
time in Mill of Inverchroskie ; Alexander Robertson of Straloch ; 
John M'Intoshe alias M'Eane, in Dallcharnich ; Allister Wilson in 
Craiginache ; John Stewart, son of P. Stewart, Straloch ; John 

Fleming, portioner, Wester Inverchroskie ; and John D , 

Wester Dalnabrick. All these were found guilty and fined. 
Spalding of Ashintullie, as usual, seems to have been the worst 
offender, as he was fined £40, whilst Robertson of Straloch — the 
Baron Ruadh — and all the rest got off with a fine of only ten 

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After the preceding trial, the whole of these men were again 
summoned before the Privv Council, and they had to find caution, 
one for the other of them — "not to carry hagbuts or pistols, or to 
shoot wild fowl or venison/ Records Privy Council, Vol. XL, p. 364. 
Here again the Council found it necessary to tie the redoubtable 
Spalding of Ashintullie tighter than his neighbours, as Allister 
Robertson of Downie had to become cautioner for him for .£500, 
whilst Allister himself, Straloch, and all the rest got off for .£100. 
No doubt these warlike worthies of the good old days thought it 
a far more iniquitous and unnatural law to be forbidden to shoot 
wild fowl and venison than to carry hagbuts and pistols to shoot 
their foes and fellow-creatures. However, little they cared for 
these new laws, and once they got above the Pass of Craighall, 
they were as ready as ever to shoot either man or beast, and as 
for going about without arms, they would as soon think of going 
about without clothes. As yet, and for some time after this, only 
the getlemen of Strathardle and a few of their principal retainers 
had fire-arms, as the common people still stuck to their ancient 
weapon the bow and arrow, which they knew so well how to 
handle, and which, in the hands of an expert bowman, was a far 
superior weapon to the rude lire-arms of those days. I may here 
give the story of a famous archer of this time, just as I gave it in 
the recently published "Records of the Clan Fergusson" (page 34) 
— " Long, long ago, according to Strathardle tradition, before fire- 
arms were so common in the Highlands, the most expert bowman 
in Strathardle was an old man ot the Clan Ferguson, named Adi 
fiiorach, Sharp-faced Adam, who lived on the north side of the 
river near Inverchroskie Lodge. The only one who could come 
anything near him as a marksman was a neighbour who lived 
opposite him on the south or Dalreoch side of the river. Many 
were the trials of skill they had, but Adam always, came off 
victorious, which made the other very jealous. They were also 
very keen cock-fighters, and had the two best fighting cocks in the 
district. One day \dam was sitting on a stone at the end of his 
house engaged in feeding his favourite fighting cock, which was 
so tame that it would feed out of his hand, when his neighbour, 
who had been watching him, drew his bow and sent an arrow 
across, which killed the cock as it fed out of his hand. Adam 
thought this very sharp practice, but slipped quietly into the 
house, and waited his opportunity. Some time after this, the 
slayer of the cock proceeded to thatch his house, and with the 
assistance of his wife, the work proceeded rapidly. After the 
thatching was done, he was laying a row of turf along the ridge, 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 97 

and fastening each turf with a wooden pin, and when he was 
placing a turf in position, and both his wife and himself still had 
a hold of it, Adam, who had been watching the performance, sent 
an arrow over, and pinned the turf to the thatch, just where the 
wooden pin should go. Though startled, the old fellow took it 
very coolly, and ordered his wife to hand him another turf, which 
he placed in position, and then asked for a wooden pin to fix it. 
As his wife handed him the pin, another arrow from Adam's ready 
bow dashed it from their grasp. This was too much for him, so 
he quietly slid down the back of the house, and gettiug his pet 
game cock, he despatched his wife with it as a present and peace- 
offering to Adi Biorach, along with a pressing invitation to that 
worthy to come across and spend the evening with him, which 
invitation was readily accepted, and, according to the custom of 
the time, a very jovial evening was spent, and they mutually 
agreed that there was no occasion for any further trials of skill in 
archery between them, and they afterwards lived and died in 

At this time also, though very young, lived in Glenshee the 
most noted of all Perthshire bowmen, the famous Cam Rnadh, but 
as I will have to deal with him and his exploits in 1644, we will 
leave him till then. 

No sooner was the ever-restless David Spalding of Ashintully 
back from attending the meetings of the Privy Council in 
Edinburgh, and paying his fines, than he and his crony and 
cautioner, Allister Robertson of Downie, " sought pastures new," 
in the way of breaking the laws. No doubt, as the Privy Council 
had objected to their carrying hagbuts and pistols, and shooting 
either men, wildfowl, or venison, they thought, just for a little 
change, this time to try some more peaceful occupation. So they 
shouldered their axes (and no doubt took their hagbuts and 
pistoles as well), and, calling their men, set off to the Braes of 
Mar, and began cutting down "certain great growing trees," 
belonging to the Earl of Mar, in the great pine forests there. As 
they had neither bought the timber nor asked the Earl's permis 
8ioh for it, this was of course against the law, so the Earl objected, 
and they had to appear once more before the Court, and we find 
it recorded in " Pitcairn's Criminal Trials," Vol. III., p. 458 : — 
"Nov. 18th, 1618. David Spalding of Essintullie and Alexander 
Robertson of Myddill Downie, dilaited of airt and pairt of the 
cutting down of certain grit growand treyis, and away-taking 
thereof furth of Johnne, Erie of Mar his Forrestis and woidis 
within the boundis of Braemar, Cromar, Strathdie, and Glengairn. 


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In respect of thair compeirance offerit thame selffis to the tryall 
of the Law, as altogidder innocent thairoff; and protestit for 
thair cautioners releif ; and that thai sould nocht be trubillet or 
chargit for the said allegit crymes." They pleaded innocent, and 
as there was either not enough proof, or the Earl did not wish to 
press matters too far, the affair was allowed to drop. 

1620. — The gypsies, or " Egyptians," as they were then called, 
had become so numerous in Scotland about the beginning of the 
seventeenth century, and were so much given to thieving, robbery, 
and murder, that King James, in 1609, passed an Act of Pari la- 
ment against them, forbidding any of his subjects to " resset, 
supplie, or entertain " any of them. All the district of Atholl, 
and especially Strathardle, had a full share of these " lymmaris 
and vagaboundis," and we now find Alexander Rattray of Dal- 
rulzion and our old friend, David Spalding of Ashintullie, getting 
into trouble for harbouring them, as follows : — " Complaint by 
the King's Advocate that the Act of Parliament of 28th 
June, 1609, forbidding any one to 'ressett, supplie, or enter- 
tain' ony of these vagabondis, theives, sornaris, and lymmaris 
callit Egyptians, after the 1st day of August thairaftir under pain 
of confiscatioun, had been contraved by David Spalding of Ashin- 
tullie, Alexander Rattray of Dalrullion, Finlay M'Inroy in Moulin, 
and Thomas Arioche in Brae of Tullymet. Bye thir contempt of 
law thae saidis counterfoote theives, sornaris, and vagabondis, are 
encourageitt to remain within this countrie agains the tenour of 
the saidis Act of Parliament and to continew in their accustomat 
and wicket trade of thift, sorning, and abewsing of his Majestie's 
guid subiects;" The Advocate appearing personally, as also 
David Spalding and Alex. Rattray, the Lords assoilze David 
Spalding ; remit Alex. Rattray to be taken order with by the 
Treasurers ; and depute and order the other defenders to be 
denounced rebels. (Records, Privy Council, Vol. XII., p. 562.) So 
Spalding once more got clear of the law, and still continued to 
harbour Egyptians, in whom he found valuable allies, as they were 
ever ready to engage in all the desperate enterprises in which he 
was so often engaged. It was during this time, when David 
Spalding had so many cases before the Privy Council in Edin- 
burgh, that he, in his hot-blooded haste and anger, slew his 
famous serving man — " Daidh Crom" — Crooked Davie, so called 
from his being hunchbacked, a faithful clansman, and the fleetest 
runner ever known in all Atholl. In justice to Spalding, I must 
say that he committed this foul deed under a misapprehension, 
and that he ever after regretted it, and always declared that of 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 99 

all the men ever he had slain, Davie was the only one that he 
wished alive again. 

Ashintully received a message from the Privy Council saying 
that unless certain papers were lodged in Edinburgh before sunset 
on such a day, he would be outlawed, and all his estates and goods 
confiscated. Now, owing to some delay, he only got the message 
late on the night before the appointed hour, so he at once 
got the papers, tied them up in a packet, and gave them 
to his fleet-footed retainer, Davie, telling him to start betimes in 
the morning, as he must deliver the packet in Edinburgh 
before sunset next evening. Now, as Edinburgh is about seventy 
miles from Ashintully, even as the crow flies, by Perth and 
Queensferry, I am afraid most of the degenerate retainers of the 
present day would as soon undertake a journey to the proverbial 
Jericho as go such a distance on foot. Not so the light-footed 
Davie Spalding ; he thought nothing of it ; he had often done it 
before. But it so happened that there was to be a great feast 
and a dance at the castle next night, and naturally such a light- 
footed youth as Davie was very fond of dancing ; and, besides, 
had he not a sweetheart there, a bonnie, comely lassie, who did 
not care though Davie's back was a little crooked, for she knew 
that his heart was not crooked. Davie thought of all this and a 
great deal more, but those -vere not the days when a clansman 
dare grumble or disobey the orders of his chief, least of all such a 
haughty chief as that of the Spaldings. So Davie Crom took the 
papers quietly ; but instead of waiting till daylight, he at once 
slipped out at the castle gate, and made a bee-line for Edinburgh, 
faster than ever he had done before, over hill and dale. He 
arrived there in good time, delivered his packet of papers, and 
j^ot another packet in return, and at once set off on his return 
journey, and arrived at Ashintully late in the afternoon of the 
same day. As the laird was out hunting on the hills, Davie 
sought the great hall of the castle, where he had some food, after 
which he lay down and stretched his tired limbs on the floor under 
the huge table, and was soon fast asleep. It so happened that 
Ashintully had but bad luck and poor sport that day, and so 
returned to the castle in a very surly mood, and upon entering 
the great hall, the first thing he saw was crooked Davie curled up 
fast asleep under the table, amongst a lot of hounds, with the 
packet of papers clasped in his hand, and it at once struck him that 
Davie had never yet started for Edinburgh, and that the important 
papers that were to have saved his estate were still there unde- 
livered. So, blind with rage and fury, he drew his dirk and plunged 

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100 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

it in the heart of poor bleeping Davie. It was only when he lifted 
the blood-stained packet of papers, and saw it was the answer 
back from Edinburgh, which the fleet-footed messenger had 
brought him in such an incredibly short time, that he saw, when 
too late, his fatal mistake, and that his ever-ready dirk had sent 
poor Davie on his last long journey from which there was no 
return. There was no feasting or mirth in the Castle that night,, 
as all mourned for Davie, and even the proud and haughty chief 
himself unbent so far as to admit that Davie was the only one he 
wished alive again of all the men he had ever slain. Aye, and I 
have heard old men tell how that, as long as there were Spaldings 
in Ashintully, before any of the family died, travellers between 
Ashintully and Kirkmichael were often startled by seeing a hunch- 
backed young Highlander with flowing tartans and a packet of 
papers in his hand flash past them like lightning. It was the 
ghost of Crooked Davie bearing the summons of death to some 
one of the Spaldings of Ashintully. 

We have already seen that in 1603, Herring of Glasclune and 
Herring of Cally gave a charter to Angus Fergusson, alias M'Innes 
(M 'Angus), of part of the lands of Easter Butter's Cally, and now 
we find these same two lairds giving a charter of part of Wester 
Butter's Cally to Robert Fergusson, alias M 4 Angus, in Wester 
Dalnabrick ; — " Solarem tertiam partem terrarum et ville de 
Wester Butteris Calie per current em rigam cum ejus moris 
piscationibis, lie girssingis et Schealingis. Keg. Mag. Sig., VI., 
2156. 16th March 1620." Among the witnesses to this charter 
was James Fergusson in the Hill of Cally. 

The various families of the Clan Fergusson in Strathardle 
and Glenshee had each their own patronymics to distinguish 
them. Thus the old Fergussons of Balmacrochie were always 
known as MacAdi — Sons of Adam, of Wester and Easter Cally ; 
MacAonghais — M 'Angus, or M'Innes, of Glenbrierachan ; Mac- 
Fhionnlaidh — M'Finlay, of Balnacult, in Straloch ; MacFheargkuis 
Dhuibh — Sons of Black Fergus, of Downie ; MacRobi — M 'Roberts ; 
whilst the Glenshee Fergussons, who were of the Downie 
family, were Clann Fheargkuis Dhunie — Clan Fergus of Downie* 
Connected with the latter we have a very fine old Strathspey 
tune, which was a great favourite with Robert Petrie, Robert 
Peebles, the Rev. Allan Stewart, and other famous old Strathardle 
musicians. It is called u An t' sean Ruga Mhor," which, being 
interpreted, means " The Big Old Termagant." M 'Alpine, in his 
Gaelic dictionary, gives the meaning of " Ruga " as "a rough 
female," which, when the big and old are added, exactly describes. 

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our heroine. She was a huge muscular, masculine, half-witted 
dame of the Fergussons of Dounie, who, upon hearing that some 
of her kinsfolk, the Fergussons of Glenshee, had been ill-treated 
by some of their neighbours there, headed by a M'Combie, who 
lived at Dalmunzie, she set off by Dounie burn, paat Ashintully 
Castle, and up the glen to the great hill and pass of Burroch, and 
descending on Glenshee, reached Dalmunzie, and coming upon 
M'Combie unawares, she caught him and handled him so roughly 
that she nearly shook the life out of him, and at last threw him 
senseless in a dirty pool of water on his own midden, out of which 
he crawled when he recovered, and making his way across the 
Cairnwell, never to return, he sought refuge in Aberdeenshire, 
and settled there, and from him are descended the M'Combies of 
these parts. This tune, and its Gaelic words, are still well known 
in Strathardle, but the latter, when describing the rough handling 
she gave M'Combie, are scarcely refined enough for ears polite of 
the present day, but I may give a few verses : — 

" Sud i null am Burrach, am Burrach, am Burrach, 
Sud i null am Burrach, 

An 't sean Ruga Mhor." 

* " Thig cobhair as an Dunie, an Dunie, an Dunie, 

Thig cobhair as an Dunie, ' 

Ars an t' sean Ruga Mhor." 

41 A chobhair Chlann 'Earrais an Dunie, an Dunie, an Dunie, 
A chobhair Chlann 'Earrais an Dunie, 
Thain' an t' sean Ruga Mhor." 

" Rainig i Dailmhungie, Dailmhungie, Dailmhungie, 
Rainig i Dailmhungie, 

An t' sean Ruga Mhor." — <fcc., &c. 

" She's off across the Burroch, the Burroch, the Burroch, 
She's off across the Burroch, 
The old Ruga Mor." 

* " Help will come from Dounie, from Dounie, from Dounie, 

Help will come from Dounie,' 
Says the old Ruga Mor." 

44 To help Clan Fergus of Dounie, of Dounie, of Dounie, 
To help Clan Fergus of Dounie, 
Came the old Ruga Mor." 

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102 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" She has reached Dalmungie, Dalmungie, Dalmungie, 
She has reached Dalmungie, 
The old Ruga Mor." 

Here we %ill leave the old " Ruga Mor," upholding the honour 
of her clan at Dalmungie, but before leaving her clan for the 
present, 1 may mention that on 16th March of this year I find a 
confirmation of the charter of 16th November, 1603, by which the 
late Andrew Hering of Glasclune, David Hering, his son and heir, 
and Andrew Hering of Cally, second son of the said Andrew 
Senior, granted in feu to Angus Fergusson, alias M'Innes, in 
Eister-Butteris-Callie — " quarterium terrarum et ville lie Eister 
Butteris-Callie (intra bondus specificatas) cum moris, piscationibus, 
lie girsinggis et schealangis per eum occupat, vie. Perth — Reg. 
Mag. Sig. VI., 2157." 

On July 26th, John Fergusson (Iain M'Kerras Dowy) of Bal- 
nacult, in Straloch, was unlawed in 100 merks for not entering 
certain persons accused of carrying off "ane simple puir man" to 
Blair-Atholl, where he met with a miserable end — Clan Fergusson 
Records, 60. 

Now, these " certain persons," whom this clannish Black 
Fergusson refused to enter for trial, were his kinsman, John Bowy 
M'Kerras Dowy, Fair John of the Black Fergussons, and his 
neighbours, Robert M'Coule in Wester Kindrogan, and Robert 
Glas there, as we find in Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, p. 491 : — 
"July 2tith, 1620. Taking captive, oppression, starving to death. 
Robert M'Coule in Wester Kindrogan ; Robert Glas thair ; and 
John Bowy M'Kerras Dowy in Straloche. Dilaitit for usurpatioun 
of our soverane lordis authoritie, in taking of vmqle Allaster 
M'Gilliemule, in Innerridrie ane simple puir man furth of the 
duelling hous of Johnne Roy M'Gilliemule vpon the lands of 
Bordland, within the scherifdome of Perthe, binding him hand and 
fute and cayring him as ane captive and prissoner with thame to 
the Castell of Blair in Atholl, and stryppit him naikit of his 
claithes and thaireftir casting him in the pit of the said castell, 
quhair in the deid tyme of wynter, viz. in December last, he 
fameischet with hunger and cald, efter he had remainit foure 
dayis and four nichtis thairintill, and thairafter cayreing him out 
of the said pitt to ane gibbit (being deid) vpon the landis of Blair 
quhair thay hang him up, as ane malefactour, but no power or 
commission gevin till thame, or ony preceiding tryell tane of his 
guiltiness of ony crime. The Justice ordainit Johnne Fergusson 
of Belnacult in Straloche as cautioner and sourertie, to be vnlawit 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 103 

for nocht entrie of ilk ane of the saidis personis in the pane of ane 
hundreth merkis. And siclyk, that they sail be denoimcit rebillis 
and put to the home and all thair moveabil guidis to be escheit." 

1621. — We have already often seen that the Strathardle folk 
were always leal and true friends of the persecuted Clan Gregor, 
and though as lately as 1613 many of them were heavily lined 
for harbouring and resetting the Macgregors, yet they still 
persisted in giving succour and shelter to the clan that was 
" nameless by day." So now we find some of them in trouble 
again : — 

"Edinburgh, 10th August, 1621. — Caution by James Weymis 
of the Mill of Werie, that David Spalding of Eschintullie shall 
pay to Arch. Prymrose, w r riter in Edinburgh, and Arch. Campbell, 
brother to Sir James Campbell of Lawers, commissioners appointed 
by the Lords of Council for uplifting of the fines imposed upon 
the resetters of the Clangrigour, and with consent of Archibald, 
Earl of Argyll, donator of the fines, the sum of 2000 merks as the 
fine imposed upon the deseased Johnne Robertson of Straloch, for 
which the said Spalding became cautioner if found liable. With 
clause of releif . 

" Signed James Weimess, Cautioner. 
"David Spalding." 
— Records, Privy Council, Vol. XII., p. 562. 

"Edinburgh, 10th August, 1621. — Caution by David Spalding 
of Eschintullie for James Weymes of the Mill of Werie, that he 
will pay to the said Commission the fine of 1000 merks imposed 
upon Thomas Fergusson of Belleyewcane for the resett of the 
Clangregour, for which he became caution if he be found liable. 
With clause of releif. " Signed David Spalding, Cautioner. 

" James Weimes." 

It is a great credit indeed to these wild reckless lairds of 
Strathardle and Atholl that they stuck so loyal and true to their 
ancient friends the Macgregors all through their long and bitter 
persecution. It was truly a very unselfish policy for them to 
pursue — they had all to lose and nothing to gain — yet they 
cheerfully, time after time, paid ruinous fines, and suffered long 
imprisonments for the sake of Clan Alpine. 

Our old friend, John Robertson, the Baron Cutach of 
Straloch, with all his pomp and pride, had very little spare cash 
about him, Spalding of Ashintully had less, whilst James 
Weymess of the Mill of Werie was but a sma', sma' laird ; 
yet these brave men and many others often cheerfully paid fines 
of 2000 merks in Edinburgh for resetting Clangregor, and then 

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104 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

hastening home to their native glens, celebrated the occasion by 
again resetting double the number of poor hunted Macgregors. 

Of all the Highland clans, as wo have already seen, the most 
inveterate resetters of Clangregor were the Fergussons of Atholl, 
Strathardle, and Glenshee, and why not? Were they not con- 
nected by the sacred ties of clannish kindred ? Were they not 
cousins only sixty-eight times removed? What man of the 
Fergusson clan but claims to be descended from King Fergus, 
the first King of the Scots ? In the old Gaelic song, " The 
Gathering of the Clans," we have — 

" Ach c'uim* an leiginn dearmad air 
Clann Fhearghuis nan garbh thurn ; 
Sliochd a cheud High Albannaich, 
A chum ar coir 's na garbh-chriochan." 

And wherefore would I now forget 
Clan Fergus of the brave deeds ; 
Descendants of the first King of Alban, 
Who defended our rights to our mountain-land. 

And another old bard sings of Clan Fergus : — 

" Sliochd nam fear nach robh cearbach 
Thanig sios o R\gh Fearghuis, 
A righich air Albainn 'o thus." 

Sons of the men who were never afraid, 
Who descended down from King Fergus, 
The first king who reigned over Alban. 

And to show their royal descent from King Alpine, don't the 
Macgregors proudly bear above their crest the Gaelic motto — " 'S 
rioghail mo dhream " — My race is royal. To a Saxon, the kinship 
between these two clans may seem veiy remote, but to these old 
Highlanders, the clannish bond of being descended from the same 
ancient royal race made the Clan Fergus stick truly to the 
Macgregors through all the long, long years of their bitter 

1622. — Once again I find about forty of the principal men in 
Strathardle and Glenshee summoned before the Privy Council 
for carrying hagbuts and pistols, and shooting wild fowl and 
venison. A few of them, no doubt the most innocent of the lot> 
appeared before the Council, and : — " The Lords assoilze the 
defenders appearing personally, because they have denied the 

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Sketches of Strathardle. 105 

charge on their oaths of verity and order the absent members to 
be denounced rebels." As these persecutions against almost every 
man of standing in Strathardle and Glenshee went on continually 
for about ten years at this time, and as the charge always was, 
carrying firearms and shooting wild fowl and venison, while there 
is no mention of, or objection to, their carrying their ancient arms 
of bow, dirk, and claymore, which were such deadly weapons 
against human beings, I am a little afraid the Government of the 
day were really more alarmed for the destruction which the rapid 
spread of firearms at this time made amongst wild fowl and 
venison than they were for the loss of life through constant and 
bitter feuds between rival clans. 

At anyrate, the result of all these persecutions was that about 
three-score of the principal men of the district all paired, each 
Incoming caution for the other in 300 merks not to carry fire- 
arms. Foremost amongst those worthies who both gave and took 
the caution were the lairds of Straloch, Ashintullie, Dalrulzion, 
and Bleaton, none of whom, I am afraid, paid any heed to the 
law, or showed a good example to men of lesser note. 

80th APRIL, 1896. 

At the meeting this evening, in the Caledonian Hotel, which 
was largely attended by members and the general public — Mr 
Duncan Campbell, Craignish, presiding — Mr Callum Macdonald, 
Highland Club, Inverness, was elected an honorary member of the 
Society ; and Mr John Macleod, M.P., Inverness ; Mr John Mac- 
kenzie, factor, Dunvegau, Skye ; and Mr D. Macleod, M.B., of 
Beverley, Yorkshire, were elected ordinary members of the Society. 
Thereafter Miss Goodrich-Freer, London, delivered an interesting 
lecture on " Second Sight in the Highlands," of which a summary 
is given. 

The Secretary has received the following letter from Miss 
Freer : — 

27 Cleveland Gardens, Hyde Park, London, W., 
6th November, 1897. 
Dear Sir, 

I am returning you a corrected copy of the news- 
paper report of my address on Second Sight in the Highlands. 
You will note that out of regard for your space I have subtracted 
all that necessitated the use of a diagram, and all the stories which 

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106 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

served as illustrations of tlie points which the diagram was intended 
to explain. I think that such persons as are likely to be interested 
by what I had to say can %vrobably supply more and better stories 
than I. 

Will you allow me, in your pages, to again thank all tlvose 
correspondents who were good enough to communicate with me after 
my appearance among you, and to thank them with that special 
fervour which is gratitutle for favours to come ? I am most grateful 
for all the information they are willing to send me; and to some wlia 
have apologised for triviality, I would say that, in such an enquiry 
as this, nothing is trivial that is relevant and (rue. The most 
trifling experiences are often the most suggestive, and I am still 
asking for more. 

I am, faithfully yours, 



It is but seldom that one is privileged to tell one's fellow- 
creatures that they are, or have, something which is far more 
valuable than they are at all aware. As a rule, we are all quite 
sufficiently well satisfied with ourselves and our possessions, but T 
think the Highlander is but little conscious of the immense value 
to students of psychology of that faculty, so characteristic of the 
Celtic race, which is known as Second Sight. 

I was myself born south of the Tweed, but like the man who- 
was born in Glasgow, " I canna help it." My ancestors, however, 
were more fortunate, and I venture to speak to-night as a High- 
lander to Highlanders, and for that reason I shall not waste your 
time and mine by showing that such a faculty as Second Sight 
does exist. I think that probably a large proportion of those here 
present would think it due to their own reputation to allege that 
they didn't believe in anything of the kind. " There is no such 
thing as Second Sight," you would say, " or if there ever were, it 
has ceased to exist except in auld wives' fables, and a few remote 
districts. But . . ." And then would follow some valuable 
and interesting story, which nothing would induce you to believe 
if it hadn't happened to yourself, or to some one you know very 
well, and which you feel is very mysterious, though far be it from, 
you to say it was second sight ! That is just the sort of story I 
am anxious to discuss ; not local legends, or something which. 

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Second Sight in the Highlands. 107 

happened long ago, or family traditions (all of which are immensely 
interesting as folk lore), but the sort of story which begins with a 
" But," and ends with, " That is perfectly true, aud I can prove 

It is in the hope that what I have to say may lead some of 
you to bring me such stories, that I venture to dwell, with some 
emphasis, on the importance of the subject both to literature and 
to science ; not to those of small party feelings, and theories cut 
and dried, Spiritualists and Theosophists and theorists of one sort 
or another, but to those whose held of enquiry is — Man : his 
nature, his faculties, and his history, past and future. From this 
point of view, Highland beliefs and Highland history are of very 
great importance indeed to the literary and the scientific world. 
There is no need for me to talk to you about the literary worth of 
your history. We all know the very valuable family histories 
that have emanated from this very town of youro, by a felluw- 
townsman — books that are not only valuable from a literary and 
historical point of view, but are absolutely teeming with stories 
dealing with the subject that it is my business to speak to you 
about to-night. I have found, in going through the Highlands 
and Islands, that many of the Highlanders have very little idea 
of what an immense value these stories are to the world of science. 
The time was when stories of Second Sight were regarded as 
having in them necessarily something of the supernatural, and 
were therefore not believed ; but a reaction has now set in, and we 
are beginning to realise that if these stories are true, if the 
evidence accumulated is of such quality and quantity as to remove 
them from the explanation of being mere chance coincidence, the.i, 
by being true, they become a part of nature, and though they 
may appear to us to be mper-normal because at present we have 
no sufficient explanation of their occurrence, they cannot, ipso 
facto, be supernatural. 

Of course, on this hypothesis, very much must depend upon 
the nature of the evidence, and the care with which it is examined. 
You are probably aware that there is a society in London, known 
as the Society for Psychical Research, which is occupied with the 
collection and examination of evidence of this kind. There are 
many well-known names among its members, names famous in 
connections so different that one feels the more confidence that 
the Society is not maintained and worked by a few faddists, the 
misleading people who have a theory to prove, but by those 
whose concern is to enquire and to learn. Among such names I 
may mention the Marquess of Bute, Mr Arthur Balfour, Mr 

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108 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Gerald Balfour, the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, Mr Gladstone, 
and some dozen at least cf prominent men of science, doctors and 
professors, both English and foreign. 

For about eight years, the working members of this Society 
have been occupied with collecting first hand well attested 
experiences which appear to be super-normal, and the comparison 
of evidence has led, in a large majority of cases, to the conclusion 
that there is, in fact, no need to suppose them in any sense super- 
natural. Once granted the possibility of the existence of thought 
transference and of sub-conscious mental activity, much evidence 
which was formerly regarded as the natural prey of spiritualists 
and other superstitious persons has now been established as 
scientifically demonstrable fact, of which so large a proportion has 
a normal and " common-sense" explanation that we are encouraged 
to await with confidence some such explanation as to the remainder. 
Such cases lie mainly among stories of so-called ghosts, haunted 
houses, clairvoyance, and many of the illusions and delusions of 
" seances," " spirit-rappings," " mediums," aud the like. 

But there is one class of stories for which at present we have 
absolutely no hint of explanation to offer — the whole series of 
experiences which come under the head of Piemonition, and which 
includes Second Sight, as found largely among the Celtic races, 
especially in the Highlands of Scotland. The liberality of the 
Marquess of Bute enabled the Society for Psychical Research to 
make some special enquiries into the subject. The Society had 
recently collected a Census of Hallucinations in every part of the 
world, and proposed to make their enquiries in the Highlands on 
the same system. The Rev. Peter Dewar, of Rothesay, kindly 
undertook the office of secretary, and sent out nearly two thousand 
schedules to ministers, schoolmasters, doctors, heads of police, 
land owners, aitd, as far as possible, to representatives of all 
classes in Gaelic-speaking districts of the Highlands. Out of 
these but sixty were leturned duly filled up, and but half answered 
in the affirmative the following questions : — 

1. Is "Second Sight" believed in. by the people of your 

neighbourhood ? 

2. Have you yourself seen or heard of any cases which appear 

to imply such a gift 1 If so, will you send me the facts ? 

3. Can you refer me to any one who has had personal experi- 

ence, and who would be disposed to make a statement 
to me on the subject ? 

4. Do you know of any persons who feel an interest, and who 

would be disposed to help in this inquiry ? 

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Second Sight in the Highlands. 10£ 

At the end of six months, Lord Bute issued a further circular 
in his own name, with somewhat better results, two hundred and 
ten being filled up, of which sixty-four answers were more or less 

It was of no use, however, to disguise the fact that the 
attempt was a failure, The Highlander is independent and 
reticent. If he does not like to answer questions in the cause of 
science, he is quite right to hold his tongue ; but it was dis- 
appointing. It was not till I came to the Highlands for the 
purposes of this enquiry myself, that I realised how entirely 
unlikely it was that such an attempt should have any success. I 
found that, in a great number of instances, the circulars had been 
neglected, not from indifference or lack of attention, but because 
many recipients felt that a subject which, if not a motive force 
in their own lives, was at least a tradition reverently received 
from their ancestors — one too great for their powers of handling, 
too sacred for discussion with strangers. 

Moreover, the inquiry is inevitably one which cannot be 
adequately dealt with by correspondence merely. In a* great 
number of instances the persons who are likely to give most 
valuable help in the matter, are those unaccustomed to express 
their thoughts in writing, or who have not leisure to relate long 
histories, even when they have the inclination to do so. 

Moreover, even in the wildest glens and islands, the school- 
master is abroad, and a generation is fast arising that knows 
little of romance and poetry, and simple faith, and reverence for 
tradition; and those to whom these things are most dear are 
learning — in proportion as they feel their reality and power — to 
disguise and minimise the fact of their belief. 

Again, in those parts where Presbyterianism is strong, with all 
its essential modernness, its imprimatur of reform, its association 
with political feeling* there is, among the people, an attitude of 
apology for their interest in psychical experience which one does 
not find where Church teaching, either Anglican or Roman, with 
its more picturesque presentation of sacred truths, its historic 
buildings, its manifold associations, has never been interrupted. 
The Presbyterians more especially showed a reluctance to commit 
their experiences to writing, though entirely courteous and willing 
when personally approached. 

Hints are thrown out in certain of the schedules as to the 
possibility of personally communicating experiences which could 
not be written down, and, moreover, as to certain traditional 
methods of acquiring the faculty of Second Sight. These hints 

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110 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

led, in the end, to a request from the committee appointed to 
carry out the investigation, that, being a woman of leisure, deeply 
interested in the subject, and in most cordial sympathy with all 
that is Highland, I would make a personal visit, and advise as to 
future possibilities. Accordingly, with a friend and a dog, I 
visited the districts specially indicated, and have been received 
with such kindness and courtesy that I have volunteered to make 
myself responsible fur the Report to the Society for Psychical 
Research on Second Sight in the Highlands. We continue to feel 
that the amount both of pleasure and profit has far exceeded our 
-expectations ; the Highlander is, in every rank of life, a gentleman ; 
we have met with unfailing kindness and courtesy, and we look 
forward to repeating our visit with even more satisfaction than 
that with which \*e first undertook the trust. 

The subject is quite too abstract and quite too difficult to be 
•decided upon, or theorised about, without a far larger amount of 
material than we have at the present moment ; but it I am spared, 
and help is given me, I hope to continue the inquiry until 1 have 
evolved something. One special reason why I have come all the 
way from London to Inverness to-night was the hope that I might 
stimulate a certain amount of interest among you in this inquiry. 
In so difficult a subject one needs all the help available, and you, 
who live on the spot, could give me hints that perhaps might take 
me six months to work out for myself. 

The special characteristic of Second Sight in the High- 
lands is that it is mainly, or at all events largely, pre- 
monitory. I do not think the phenomenon exists in the 
same degree in any part of the world as it does in the Highlands. 
When you get anything like Second Sight elsewhere it is also in 
the mountainous country that you find it — in the Balkans, in the 
Himalayas, and the mountains of Italy ; but nowhere do you find 
the evidence given with such reverence, sincerity, and simplicity 
as in the Highlands of Scotland. Out of justice to England I may 
say you hear of it in the Highlands of Devonshire and York- 
shire, and other solitudes of mountains, among people who, to a 
certain extent, are separated from the rest of the world. I do not 
pretend to give the explanation ; but I offer the fact for your con- 
sideration. I wish definitely to say for myself and for a large 
proportion of the Society to which I belong, that we are not 
Spiritualists ; that we are merely scientific inquirers, or, I should 
prefer to say, sympathetic inquirers in a scientific way. My 
special interest in Second Sight, as a subject for psychical 
research, lies in the very fact that it is one which the Spiritualist 

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Second Sight in the Highlands. Ill 

has not yet seized and vulgarised, but that the stories, even if 
possibly exaggerated, are, nevertheless, told with characteristic 
Highland reverence, a reverence which, I venture to think, forms 
an essential part of all science worth the name, reverence for the 
mind and faculties and associations of man, and for the God in 
whose likeness he is made. 

One might ask why should certain individuals or certain races 
be gifted with this power of Second Sight rather than other races 
and other individuals ? Why should one man be a poet and not 
another 1 Why should one man be an artist and not another ? 
Why should one man have the gift of expressing his thoughts and 
not another? I believe that the question of the difference of 
faculty is simply that of " the personal equation." We have most 
of us a great number of faculties of which we know very little ; 
we all of us have a great number of faculties of which we make 
little or no use — powers often of a higher kind than those we are 
aware of and in which we take pride. You may have gone out of this 
beautiful city of Inverness this April morning, and have heard the 
sky-lark in the air. It was something delicious, that made the morn- 
ing more beautiful than before ; but when the poet Shelley heard 
the sky-lark as you did, he not only felt, but was able to express 
the feeling for us in poetic language ; the feeling was common to 
us also, but he alone was able to externalise it. This Second 
Sight is simply the power of externalisation in a visual form of 
knowledge which somehow has got into our minds, just as the 
poet externalises in words emotion which has somehow got 
into his. Very often those of us who have the seer 
faculty are able to get at that which is in other people's minds. 
Imagine a country boy taken from a little village where he had 
few opportunities of society, of the world, and of education, and 
sent to a university, where he looks out upon the world and 
meets his fellow-creatures. In doing so you have made " another 
man " of him. You have educated him — you have called out the 
powers that were in existence, though unsuspected, before they 
were drawn out by this process of association and education. My 
contention is that the faculties of which we are conscious are not 
necessarily the whole of our personality ; that the "you" I know, 
and the "me" you know, is only a part of you and a part of me. 

Many old forms of divination may be explained as being artificial 
methods of getting at information which is all the time lying at 
the back of one's mind, but is not accessible at the moment, just 
as when you forget a name in conversation you know that if you 
go on talking it will very likely " come to you." Crystal-gazing 

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112 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

in all its forma is one of these. Its Highland equivalent is 
gazing at the shoulder-blade of a sheep, or even in some parts the 
more modern superstition of go zing into a tea cup. The effort of 
concentrating the gaze concentrates the faculties of memory and 
observation at the same time ; you recall things you are hardly 
conscious even of having known, things which have come into 
your mind only in association with something more important or 
more interesting, and when you utter them they may seem, to 
yourself and your hearers alike, supernatural in origin. Or again, 
you dream of some fact you have known but have not thought of 
for years. Your memory still has been sub-consciously at work, 
and has brought up this fact by some force of association you find 
it now impossible to trace. I convinced myself strongly when 
experimenting in crystal-gazing that the visions I got in the 
crystal were often like dreams, and brought to my mind what I had 
apparently forgotten, or had hardly known of, or which I had observed 
and stored in my memory before I consciously knew or noticed it. 
Through the eye the brain can take its own pictures without our 
conscious knowledge. When we once realise this, we are able to 
account for much of the occasional possession of knowledge we are 
unconscious of having acquired, and this fact has been of the 
utmost use in psychical investigation. It has helped to explain 
many mysteries, for, after all, the mental and subjective mystery 
is much greater than the physical and objective one. It is not 
difficult to understand that a person in the habit of making mental 
pictures, of seeing things in his "mind's eye," should see visions and 
dream dreams ; the mystery is far greater as to " the stuff that 
dreams are made of." It is not difficult to understand that persons 
should have hallucinations of other senses as well as sight; that they 
should in all good faith think they hear voices, or feel touches ; 
the real mystery is when the voices tell them something true 
which they believe they did not know before, but which may 
have lain unrecognised in their minds all the time without their 
being aware v of it. Crystal-gazing and automatic writing, and 
dreams and visions, are not in themselves mysterious, they merely, 
at the best, and supposing the process to be honest, externalise 
something already in the mind ; the mystery is how it got there. 
The water-dowser's rod dips near a spring. There is no mystery 
in that. He (quite unconsciously, very likely) makes it dip ; the 
mystery is how did the knowledge that he was near water get into 
his mind ? In all these matters we are bound in honesty, before 
resorting to any supernatural explanation, to remember the 
immense amount of mental activity of which we are not conscious. 

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Second Sight in the Highlands. 113 

Or again, a long and careful enquiry and comparison of 
statistics has shown that it seems very probable that there is 
a good deal of communication between one mind and another 
"by channels other than that of words or signs spoken or written, 
and which we call the thought-transference. How often it 
happens that our mind turns towards some friend, perhaps 
after a long interval of silence or estrangement, at the very 
time when a letter from him is passing through the post, or 
he is on his way to pay us a visit ! How often two persons who 
are much together find they have been silently thinking about 
the same thing, or even that one will answer the other's unspoken 
question, or respond to a remark that has not been uttered aloud. 
How often we are conscious of even the silent and inactive 
influence of some person of strong individuality, of the tone of a 
household ; in short, what a tremendous power is thought, even 
when unuttered by word or deed ! We all know stories of friends 
communicating with each other at a distance or in the moment of 
death, or other crisis. Why should we not recognise that such 
communication may exist under less powerful stimulus? This 
would extend still further our possible sources of knowledge. We 
may perhaps, then, sub-consciously acquire information not only 
from our own observation, memory, and deduction, but by reading 
the thoughts of those about us. It is even conceivable, and there 
is a great deal of evidence which seems to show that it is probable, 
that this transference of thought is quite independent of distance, 
and possibly even continues after death. This, at least, would help 
to explain many so-called ghost stories — to do away with the so- 
called " supernatural " element in many houses alleged to be 

Self-suggestion is a third hypothesis which explains many 
cases apparently supernatural. If you tell weird stories over the 
fire, in the gloaming, you are very likely not anxious to walk 
home alone afterwards. You suggest (unconsciously) unknown 
horrors to your own mind. Expectation is the strongest possible 
incentive to all emotion, and if you are m. the habit of seeing 
pictures in your mind — as most of us Celts are — it will not be at 
all incomprehensible if you really do see something before your 
lonely walk is over. Hypnotism is largely employed in medicine 
to facilitate suggestion ; suggestion is the secret of half the quack 
medicines, and a good many other medicines too ; it is the method 
of the mother who says, " Baby hurt ? mother will kiss it better," 
as of the teacher who says, " I know you will tell me the truth." 
It is probably the explanation of such successes as are achieved by 

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114 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

so-called " mediums," as well as of the magicians and fakirs of the 

These three possible hypotheses, with some others which are 
of less value, go very far to subtract from the number of the 
mysteries which come under the observation of those engaged in 
psychical research. It will, however, be observed that they 
apply only to such experiences as refer to either the past or the 
present. We may be able to construct the immediate future 
by deduction from the past. Unconscious memory and observa- 
tion may create visions and dreams which may prove true, yet 
for which we cannot account ; self-suggestion and expectation 
may serve to create marvels which we are not \n condition at the 
moment to investigate or reason upon. 

The special interest of Second Sight, however, is that it relates 
almost entirely to the future, and that future very often distant 
by months and even years. In Tiree I heard of more than one 
well-attested case of prevision of events fulfilled fifty years later. 
In all parts of the Highlands I have heard stories of lights in 
fields where a railway was later constructed, of the sound of 
singing where a church was afterwards built, of lights on a loch 
where a pier came to be placed, and so on. With all its industry 
and ingenuity, Psychical Research has as yet no hypothesis of 
explanation for such facts as these. The Anglo-Saxon goes so far 
as to deny their existence, often while accepting others for which 
the evidence is infinitely less. He will not try to observe for 
himself,* he will not read Martin and Theophilus Insulanus, and 
Frazer of Tiree ; and he thinks because he has asked a few super- 
ficial questions of a gillie at a shooting lodge, and the gillie — and 
I don't blame him — has told the Sassenach what he seemed 
anxious to hear, that* he has settled the whole question, and that 
Second Sight in the Highlands is an extinct superstition. He 
does not know the proverb, " He who pays the piper calls the 
tune," and he fancies he has acquired information. 

But it is not only to justify the beliefs and traditions of our 
forefathers, nor to acquire information upon an obscure question 
of psychology, that I think this problem of the explanation of 
Second Sight worth the attention of careful observers and honest 
thinkers. In these days of scepticism one cannot but feel that 
this superstition — if superstition it be — may be the twilight path 
to faith, and minister more to the needs of man than the 
materialism which is the darkness no lamp of hope illumines. 
Only this morning, gazing over the grey distance of Culloden 
Moor, I felt the vivid presence of the Past — 

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Second Sight in the Highlands. 115 

" the days of Prince Charlie, 
When the North spent its valour in vain" 

• — a past that has gone, and in which we have no part but that of 
memory. But the Future is ours still, our stimulus here, our 
aspiration beyond, and 1 think it is no mere sentiment which 
makes one feel that all which concerns our relation with the time 
that is to be, demands our special reverence. 

If the tradition of Second Sight is a mere delusion it will fall 
into the obscurity which awaits all that is not true and therefore 
eternal. On the other hand, if in less complex times and among 
our simpler ancestors there were those who were now and then 
permitted to turn a leaf of the book of the Future, we should not, 
I think, suffer any aspersion on the memory of those who may 
have had other, and perhaps higher, faculties than we. Or again, 
if here and there we may still find those, living as a rule near to 
the heart of nature, away from the bustle and the strife of towns, 
who have not w T holly lost a faculty which, in its occasional use, 
reminds us of the seers of the past, the}' should be the objects 
neither of our ridicule nor of our fear, but should be observed 
with the care which lays the foundation of such knowledge of 
jnan as leads to that reverence which is the knowledge of God. 


9th JULY, 1896. 

The Twenty-fourth Annual Assembly was held in the Music 
, Hall this evening. The chair w r as occupied by Rev. Dr Stewart, 
minister of Onich, who is kuown the world over as " Nether- 
Lochaber." The fact that Dr Stewart had consented to preside 
raised lively feelings of anticipation, and rendered the assembly 
specially interesting to many. On either hand the Chairman was 
supported by representative gentlemen, including Provost Mac- 
bean, ex-Provost Ross, Mr E. H. Macmillan, manager of the 
Caledonian Banking Company, Limited ; Mr William Mackay, 
solicitor ; Brigade -Surgeon Grant, Rev. Mr Macqeeen, Rev. Mr 
Cameron, Arpafeetie ; Mr Steele, Bank of Scotland ; Colonel 
Alexander Macdonald, Portree ; Major Napier, Mr Kenneth Mac- 
donald, Town-Clerk ; Mr Alex. Mackenzie, Mr James Barron, Mr 
Wm, Eraser, Rev. Dr A. C. Macdonald, Mr Duncan Mactavish, 

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116 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Millburn ; Mr A. Macdonald, Highland Railway ; Mr John Whyte,. 
Mr A. M. Ross, Dingwall ; Mr Duncan Mackintosh, secretary of 
the Society, and other gentlemen. 

Dr Stewart, who was received with loud applause, said — I am 
exceedingly obliged to you for your kind reception, and very glad 
to be present with you here this evening. " It's a far cry to 
Lochaw," and almost as far to Lochaber ; yet from Nether- 
Lochaber, across the whole breadth of Scotland have I come, with 
no other end or aim or object than to take a small part in this the 
twenty-fourth annual reunion of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. 
I had the honour to be present, along with many distinguished 
men — the greater number of them now, alas ! no more — at the 
institution, or birth, so to speak, of the Gaelic Society ; and I am 
now glad to be present, to shake hands with it, so to say, on 
having attained its majority — a lusty, healthful majority, and a 
matureness of manhood which entitle it to a position second to no 
society of the kind in the kingdom. During the 24 years of its 
existence the Gaelic Society of Inverness has done a great deal of 
good work, of which its members may well be proud. The visitor 
to St Paul's, London, which my friend Provost Ross will admit is 
the noblest non-Gothic cathedral in the world, will find on the 
tomb of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of that magnificent 
pile, the very strikiag and appropriate inscription — Si monu- 
mentum requiris circumspice 1 "If you seek for his monument, look 
around you !" And if auyone seeks to know what the Gaelic 
Society of Inverness has done to entitle it to be held in very hjgh 
respect, I would point to its nineteen volumes of "Transactions," 
and say, look at these volumes, and confess that the Society has 
done yoeman service — a vast amount of good work in elucidation 
of the language and literature, the antiquities and folklore of the 
Highlands ; and when I say the Highlands, I use the term in its 
widest sense — all the Highlands from, so to speak, Dan to Beer- 
sheba. But the Gaelic Society has not only done much admirable 
work directly, but also indirectly. It has stimulated gentlemen 
within its sphere of influence to undertake and happily accom- 
plish a large amount of literary work of a high order of merit — 
work that but for the Society might never, perhaps, have been 
undertaken at all, or, if undertaken, that but for the Society 
would hardly have attained to the liveliness of phrase and general 
excellence of style which so markedly characterise it. Let me 
mention the Celtic Magazine, so long and so ably conducted by 
my friend, Mr Alexander Mackenzie — also his excellent Clan 
Histories, far and away the best works of the kind in existence. 

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Annual Assembly. 117 

Let me refer to the " Urquhart and Glenmoriston" volume of my 
friend, Mr William Mackay, hon. secretary of the Society; to 
" Church and Social Life in the Highlands," by Mr Macpherson, of 
Kingussie ; to "An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic 
Language," by Mr Macbain; to the two handsome volumes, 
"" Reliquiae Celticse," so ably edited by Mr Macbain and Rev. Mr 
Kennedy ; to Nicolson's "Gaelic Proverbs," to Blackie's " Language 
and Literature of the Scottish Highlands," and to a recent little 
volume of Gaelic lyrics by Alexander Macdonald. Here, too, I 
should like to say how admirably written and intensely interesting 
are the volumes of Transactions published from time to time by 
the Inverness Field Club. I do not of course mean to say that 
the Gaelic Society can in any proper sense of the term claim the 
percentage of all or any of these works ; but I do not think I am 
wrong in saying that their authors did their work all the more 
cheerily, and were stimulated in the direction of excellence of 
achievement because of the existence of the Gaelic Society of 
Inverness, and their connection with it as ordinary or honorary 
members. I only regret that circumstances have prevented Mr 
Baillie of Doehfour, our knight of the shire, from presiding here 
this evening. I also regret the absence this evening of our friend, 
Mr Fraser-Mackintosh, our excellent representative in Parliament 
for so many years, and one of the best, as he is one of the most 
accomplished, of living Highlanders. We must, however, do the 
best we can, although deprived of the genial presence of these 
gentlemen, and of others who might be mentioned. I once knew 
an old man, a native of the Island of Mull, who owned a small 
sloop, with which he traded between Tobermory and the Clyde. 
He was once asked if his sloop was a good sailer, when he 
answered — " Well, she has no great gift of going to windward, but 
give her wind and tide in her favour, and you would be surprised 
how nicely she gets along." Now, ladies and gentlemen, I am 
like that Mull man, your skipper this evening. You are, so to 
speak, the sloop, of which I am in temporary command. We 
have an excellent programme ; we are all in good humour and 
-willing to be pleased, wind and tide in our favour ; and like 
Hector Mackinoon's sloop in similar circumstances, there is no 
fear but we shall get on famously, there being no adverse circum- 
stances to bar our enjoyment. 

Dr Stewart expressed his deep regret that Mr Macbain, M.A., 
who had promised to deliver a Gaelic address, was prevented by 
the state of his health from being present. In Mr Macbain's 
absence, he called upon Mr Alex. Mackenzie, publisher, who 

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118 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

delivered a racy speech, ia the course of which he read the 
following poem on the Society, which had been written by Mr 
Neil Macleod, Edinburgh, the bard of the Society : — 

Com c xx Gailig Ixbhirxis. 

Tha samhradh eil' air teachd mu'n cuairt, 
Tha ceol 'us luathghair feadh nan crann ; 
Tha maise 'sgeadachadh nam bruach, 
Tha trusgan ur air cluaiii 'us gleaim. 

Tha clann mo ruins' a rithist cruinn 

'Am baile rioghail tir nam beann ; 

A. dheanamh iomradh air na suinn, 

\S air eachdraidh bhuan nan linn a bh s ami. 

A chumail suas na Gailig bhinn, 

'S a h-ionmhasan gun dith gun chearb ; 

Seasaidh a cliu bho linn gu linn 

Air chuimhne mhaireannaich nach sear^r. 

Canain nam bliadhnaibh cian a thriall, 
J S a gniomharan cha teid, air chul, 
Taisgaidh ar 'n anam cainnt nan triath, 
Ga h-altrum suas le miadh 'us muirn. 

Dh' fhag iad au eachdraidh glan na'n deigh, 
Dhearbh iad an trenbhantas gu trie ; 
Leanadh an sliochd air luirg an ceum, 
Gu fearail, fiughail, gleusda, glic. 

Cho fad 's a shiubhlas uillt gu cuan, 

Cho fad 's a bhuaileas tonn air traigh ; 

Biodh clann mo dhuthcha, 's cainnt mo shluaigh r 

A' cosnadh buaidh bho al gu al ! 

A hearty vote of thanks having been awarded, on the motion 
of Mr E. H. Macmillan, to Dr Stewart, for his genial conduct as 
Chairman, the assembly concluded with " God Save the Queen " 
and " Auld Lang Syne," which were played on the bagpipes by 
the Society's piper, Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie, Gordon Castle. 

The following is a copy of the programme for the evening. 
The singing was of a high class throughout. Miss C. Fraser pre- 
sided at the piano. 

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Annual Assembly. 119 

Part I. 

Address Chairman. 

Song (Gaelic). " Mairi bhan og " Mr R. Macleod. 

Song, " Angus Macdonald" . . . Miss Jessie N. Maclachlan. 

Song, " Scots wha hae " . . . ' . . Mr ^Eneas Fraser. 

Song, " Cam' ye by Atholl " Mrs Munro. 

Violin Solo, " Scotch Selections " Mr Alex. Watt. 

Song, " Sound the Pibroch " . . . . Miss Kate Fraser. 

Dance, Argyle Sword Dance ; Pipe-Major Sutherland, Pipe-Major Ferguson, 

Mr D. Macdonald. and Mr Angus Mackay. 
Song, " Air Fal-al-al-o " Miss Jessie N. Maclachlan. 

Song, " Scotland yet " Mr R. Macleod. 

Song, " Annie Laurie " Mrs Munro. 

Bagpipe Music by Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie, Gordon Castle, 

Piper to the Society. 

Dance by Pipe-Major Sutherland. 

Part II. 

Address (Gaelic) ... Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A. 
Song (Gaelic), " Caismeachd Chloinn Chamrain" . Miss J. N. Maclachlan. 
Violin Selection, " Scotch and Highland Airs " Mr Alex. Watt. 

Song, " Willie's gane to Melville Castle" .... Mrs Munro. 

Song (Gaelic), " Moladh na Lanndaidh " ... Mr R. Macleod. 

Duet, " The Crookit Bawbee" . Miss Kate Fraser and Mr JSneab Fraser. 
Song, " The Dear Auld Hame " . . . Miss Jessie N. Maclachlan. 

Dance, "Reel of Tulloch" Oganaich Ghaidhealach. 

" Auld Lang Syne." 

11th NOVEMBER, 1896. 

A meeting of the Society was held this evening for the purpose 
of confirming a recommendation of a meetiDg of Council on 9th 
November to present the following ladies and gentlemen with 
some suitable token in recognition of their services to the Society 
for many years, in connection with the Summer Assemblies, 
namely, Miss Cosey Fraser, music teacher; Miss Kate Fraser, 
teacher ; Mr ^Eneas Fraser, writer ; and Mr R. Macleod, clothier, 
which was agreed to, after the names of Pipe-Major Ronald Mac- 
kenzie and Pipe-Major D. H. Ferguson had been added to the list. 
The recommendation of the same Council meeting to open the 
session with a social meeting on the 19th was remitted back to 
the Council for further consideration, after which it was arranged 
to open the session on that date in the ordinary way. 

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120 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

10th NOVEMBER, 1896. 

At the meeting this evening, Thomas Mackenzie, Esq., Dailuaine 
House, Carron, was elected a life member ; Captain D. Winiberley. 
Inverness, an honorary member ; and Mr Wm. Krupp, Victoria 
Hotel, Inverness, an ordinary u- ember of the Society. The 
Secretary laid on the table a copy of " Presbytery Records of 
Inverness and Dingwall" from the editor, Mr Wm. Mackay, lion, 
secretary, and intimated the receipt of £o from John Mackay, 
Esq., Hereford, as a donation towards the Society's funds. There- 
after Mr Duncan Campbell read the first part of a contribution by 
Captain D. Wimberley, Inverness, entitled " Papers from the 
Bighouse Charter Chest," which was as follows : — 


Consisting Mainly of Letters Addressed to John Campbell 

of Barcaldine, some time one of the Government Factors 

on the Forfeited Estates after the '45. 

Mr Colin Campbell Mackay, the present representative of the 
Bighouse family, having kindly consented to the publication of 
various letters and a few other miscellaneous papers now in his 
possession, an offer of copies of them is made to the Gaelic Society 
of Inverness for insertion in their Transactions by instalments. 
The greater poition consists of letters written to John Campbell of 
Barcaldine, descended from Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, 
and long factor on part of the Breadalbane estates, by various 
correspondents, including John, Lord Glenorchy, afterwards third 
Earl of Breadalbane ; different members of the Barcaldine family, 
one of whom was the ill-fated Colin Campbell of Gl enure ; Baron 
Maule, one of the Barons of the Exchequer, who for some time 
managed and controlled the accounts of the forfeited estates ; Mr 
Charles Areskine of Alva and Tinwald, Lord Justice-Clerk ; the 
Hon. Hugh Mackay of Bighouse ; the Hon. George Mackay of 
Skibo ; and Colonel John Crawford, who commanded at Fort- 
William at the time of Glenure's murder. Among the miscel- 
laneous letters and papers are one from John, first Earl of Bread- 
albane, denying all complicity with, or knowledge of, the massacre 
of Glencoe until after the event ; this letter is addressed to Alex- 
ander Campbell of Barcaldine, grandfather of John of Barcaldine, 

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The Big house Papers. 121 

and is dated 26th May, 1692 ; a notarial copy of a Decreet of the 
Court of Justiciary, dated Inverness, December, 1695, against 
John Macdonald, the eldest, and Alexander, one of the younger 
sons of Maclan of Glencoe, for a raid committed on the farm of 
Dalshangie, in Glen-Urquhart, in 1689 ; an Inventory of Writs 
and Evidents of the Estate of Kilmun, delivered by Patrick 
Campbell of Barcaldine (father of John), for himself and in name 
of his spouse, Agnes Campbell, only lawful daughter to the 
deceased James Campbell of Kilmun, to Col. Alex. Campbell of 
Finab, dated Edinburgh, 9th May, 1705 ; an anonymous letter, 
dated 1753, anent Allan Breck, bearing internal evidence of 
being the production of James Mor DrummonJ or Macgregor ; 
and a copy of the Oath of Allegiance to George II., and of abjur- 
ation of James VIII., in Gaelic, of date 1754 ; and also two 
•curious communicatioQS of much later date, 1809, relative to one 
mermaid seen near Thurso, and another apparently near Reay 
Manse. Lord Glenorchy's letters are of general interest, referring, 
as they do, to various topics of the day between 1745 and 1757. 
These include public events at the commencement of the Jacobite 
rising, and the appointment of the Duke of Cumberland to the 
command of the Royal army ; the movements of the Highland 
army, their campaign in the North of England and retirement 
northwards ; the raising of the militia and granting of commissions ; 
the sending of Highland prisoners from Edinburgh to Carlisle ; 
Lord Lovat's trial ; the abolition of heritable jurisdictions ; the 
forfeited estates, and opinions as to the education of the sons of 
the Jacobite lairds ; the search for the Prince after Culloden, and 
speculations whether he had escaped abroad ; the success of Ard- 
sheal, Ludovick Cameron, and Cluny in remaining in hiding ; the 
trials and executions of Jacobites, and, in particular, Tirindrish ; 
an alleged visit of emissaries from the Prince to Cluny in his 
hiding-place ; the prosecution of Glenure's murderers, and refer- 
ences to James Mor Drummond or Macgregor, and to Admiral 
Byng's trial. The letters from members of Barcaldine's family, 
several of whom were soldiers, serving in regiments of the British 
army, are full of interest, relating personal incidents during the 
campaign, 1745 46, in the American war, at the assault on 
Ticonderoga, &c, ; at the attack on Pondicherry in India ; and at 
the capture of the French man-of-war, the Foudroyant, by the 
British ship Monmouth, on board of which the writer of the letter, 
a young officer in command of a small party of General Whit- 
more's regiment from Gibraltar, only thirty men, took part. 
Many letters relate to the murder of Colin Campbell of Glenure, 

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122 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

and the trial and execution of James Stewart of Acharn ; to the 
attempts to effect the arrest of Allan Breck, and the suspicion 
attaching to Fasnacloich and others ; some letters refer to the 
trial and execution of Dr Archibald Cameron, and some to the 
arrest of Cameron of Fassifern. 

It will probably be most convenient to give the correspondence 
arranged chronologically, as in many cases letters from one person 
help to explain allusions in letters from others. 

I beg to draw attention to a long and carefully prepared 
" Memorial" (as it is called) drawn up by Lord Glenorchy with a 
view to clear John Campbell of Barcaldine and his half-brother, 
Colin of Glewure, from the suspicion of having any Jacobite 
tendencies while engaged as Factors on forfeited estates ; it is 
undated, but probably belongs to the year 1750, and contains 
interesting information about his two kinsmen and protegees, 
whose grandfather, Alexander, had been Chamberlain on the 
Breadalbane estates at the time of the Glencoe massacre. 

I shall commeuce by giving a short account of the Barcaldine 
family, as without this it is often difficult to understand the 
allusions, and to know who the writer of a given letter is : many 
of the writers were members of the Clan Campbell, but pretty 
widely connected by marriage, e.g., with the Camerons of Lochiel, 
Mackays of Bighouse, Sinclairs of Ulbster, and Sinclairs Earls of 
Caithness. I shall also show briefly the connection between the 
Lochiel family and that of Glenorchy and its cadet Barcaldine, 
and also that of Achalader. 

D. W. 

The families of Campbell of Achalader and Campbell of Bar- 
caldine were both cadets of the Glenorchy family ; the first of the 
former is said to have been a son of Sir Colin, 6th of Glenorchy, 
but I understand his uame is not given in the Black Book of Tay- 
mouth as one of his sons ; he got a tack of the lands of Achalader 
for 90 years from Sir Colin in 1567, and according to the family 
papers was an only child of Sir Colin by his first marriage with 
[Margaret] daughter of Grahame of Inchbraikie, others say with a 
Margaret Stewart, daughter of Alexander Stewart, Bishop of 
Inveraray, and widow of Peter Grahame of Inchbraikie. The first 
of the latter (the Barcaldines) is said to have been a son of Sir 
Duncan, 7th of Glenorchy and 1st Bart., known as " Donacha 
Dubh a Churraichd" and also as " nan Caistealan," from his 
owning seven Castles, viz., Balloch (or Taymouth), Finlarig, 
Edinample, Lochdochart, Culchurn, Achalader, and Barcaldine. 

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The Big house Papers. 123 

The above mentioned tack for 90 years was granted by Sir 
Colin in favour of Gillespie Campbell, known as Gillespie Dubh 
Mor, of the lands of Achalandour in Glenorchy, and mention is 
found uuder date 1683, among other names within the lands of 
Glenorchy, of John MacPhatric vie Gillespie in Achalandour. — See 
a Hist, of the Campbells of Melfort (supplement). In General 
Stewart of Garth's "Sketches of the Highlanders of Scotland," it 
is stated in a note that ' during 55 years in which the late Mr 
Campbell of Achalader had the charge of Lord Breadalbane's 
estate there was no instance of tenants going to law. Their dis- 
putes were referred to the amicable decision of the noble proprietor 
and his deputy ; and as the confidence of the people in the honour 
and probity of both was unlimited, no man dreamt of an appeal 
from their decision." 

The first or founder of the Barcaldine family, though he does 
not appear to have been ever designed as " of Barcaldine," was 
Patrick Campbell, known as u Para dubh beag ;" authorities differ 
as to the date of his birth, but agree as to his being a son of the 
Sir Duncan of Glenorchy above mentioned. According to one he 
was the eldest natural son of that knight, and born before his 
marriage with Lady Jean Stewart, daughter of the Earl of Athole, 
which took place in or about 1573-74 : his reputed mother was 
Janet Burdown, who also bore a eon named James to Sir Duncan. 
Para is said to have got a charter from his father of the lands of 
Dalmarglen, near Innerzeldies, in 1596 (but possibly in childhood), 
and his brother James is said to be mentioned in that charter. 
On the other hand Para's tombstone in the burial ground at 
Ardchattan Priory bears that he died in 1678, aged 86, which 
would make the date of his birth 1592. 

Sir Duncan had no less than three sons named Patrick, besides 
a brother of that name, viz. : — 1. Para dubh beag; 2. Para dubh 
mor, a natural son, the first of the family of Edinchip, a property 
granted him in 1620 by his father, from whom he had previously 
got the lands of Murlagan beag in Glenlochy, parish of Kenmore : 
he was also ancestor of the Campbells of Ardeonaig, later 
of Lochend ; 3. Another son, Patrick, was legitimate, being Sir 
Duncan's eldest son by his second spouse, Elizabeth Sinclair : " he 
got from him Stakir and Culdares, &c, in 1625." 

Returning to Para dubh beag, we find that " Sir Duncan gave 
the three merk lands of Kingart to Para dubh beag, Patrick 
Campbell * fiar of Dalmarglen,' his natural son." I have no date 
for this, but perhaps it was on his marriage, for I am also told 
that Para on his marriage is designed " fiar of Dalmarglen." 

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124 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Again, " Sir Duucan's natural son James coft the lands of Inner- 
zeldies in June 1655." These lands probably fell on the death of 
James to his brother Para, as mention occurs later of Patrick of 
Innerzeldies. Again, " Donald Campbell and Patrick Innerzeldies, 
natural sons of Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, legitima ed 
under the Great Seal.' , 1 have no date for this, but am told that 
an extract has been obtained from Register in Edinburgh, and 
that this must refer to Para dubh beag, who was afterwards " of 
Innerzeldies." Again, Sir Robert of Glenorchy, son of Sir Duncan, 
gave to John Campbell, lawful son to Patrick Campbell of Inner- 
zeldies, going in the Marquis of Argyle's troop to England, horses, 
arms, clothes, and money w r orth the sum of 1000 merks." 

Thus Para appears to have been designed " fiar of Dalmar- 
glen," " of Dalmarglen," and " of Innerzeldies," and he is said to 
have exchanged Innerzeldies with his half-brother, Sir Colin of 
Glenorchy, for Barcaldine [from Dunstaftnage's notes] ; yet John 
his son is styled "of Innerzeldies" on 26th June, 1681, after the 
date of Para's death, according to his tombstone ; but it was John 
who got the first charter of Barcaldine. 

Most of the above information has been got for and sent to 
me, in the shape of notes taken from the Black Book of Glen- 
orchy [or Taymouth], but not what refers to Janet Burdown and 
the charter of 1596 of Dalmarglen, which I received from another 

Alexander, 3rd of Barcaldine, was Chamberlain to John, 1st 
Earl of Breadalbane ; and John of Barcaldine and John of Ach- 
alacler were evidently for some time factors on parts of the 
Breadalbane estates to the 2nd Earl ; the latter is perhaps the 
Achalader mentioned by General Stewart, who also states in 
another passage that "the late Achalader and his father were 
upwards of 90 years factors to two successive Earls of Bread- 
albane," and quotes the following from George, Lord Lyttleton : — 
" But of all I saw or heard [at Taymouth] few things excited my 
surprise more than the learning and talents of Mr Campbell of 
Achalader, factor to Breadalbane. Born and resident in the 
Highlands, I have seldom seen a more accomplished gentleman, 
with more general and classical learning." 

A Short Account of the Family of Campbell of Barcaldine, 
mostly taken from Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. 

I. Patrick Campbell, said to be born about 1592, and according 
to his tombstone aged 86 in 1678, the first of the Campbells of 
Barcaldine (a son of Sir Duncan Campbell, 1st Baronet cf Glen- 

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The Big house Papers. 125 

orchy), had the lands of Innerzeldies, in the parish of Comrie, and 
other lands in Perthshire, and Barcaldine in Argyleshire. He was 
known as Para dubh beag. He married, 1st, in 1620, Annabel, 
daughter of Campbell of Dunstaffnage, by whom he had, with 
other issue, a son and heir, John, and a daughter, Annabella, wife 
of John Campbell of Kinloch. He married, 2nd, Bethia, daughter 
of Murray of Ochtertyre, by whom he had, with other children, a 
son, 1 Colin, ancestor of the Campbells of Achnaba. He was 
wounded at Inverlochy, died 25th March, 1678, was buried in 
Ardchattan Monastery, and succeeded by his eldest son. 2 

II. John Campbell of Barcaldine, who married, 1st, in 1647, 
Margaret, daughter of Campbell of Clathic, by whom he had a 
son, Alexander, his heir ; 2nd, a sister (some say a daughter) of 
Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel. by whom he had another son, 
ancestor of the Campbells 'of Balliveolau. He died about 1690, 
and was succeeded by his eldest son. 3 

III. Alexauder Campbell of Barcaldine, who married, in 1676, 
Mary, daughter of Colin Campbell of Lochnell ;. he died in 1720, 
and was succeeded by his son. 4 

IV. Patrick Ruadh (his second but eldest surviving son) of 
Barcaldine, born in 1677, who married, 1st, Agnes Campbell, last 
of the family of Campbell of Kilmun, by whom he had issue : — 

1 Colin, son of Patrick, 1st Laird of Barcaldine, is said to have been min- 
ister of Ardchattan and Muckairn for nearly 60 years ; b. 1644, d. 1726. 

2 His children by first marriage were, according to one authority — 1, 
John ; 2, Alexander ; 3, Duncan ; 4, Donald Glas, and three daughters, the 
2nd, Margaret, married John Campbell of Keithock ; and by his second mar- 
riage 4 sons and 5 daughters. 

According to another pedigree, by first marriage — 1, John ; 2, Jean, 
married Archibald Campbell of Lix ; 3, Annabel, married John Campbell, 
Kinloch ; 3, Gilies, married Colin Campbell of Bragleen ; and by second 
marriage — 1, Colin, ancestor of Achnaba ; 2, William, minister of Balquhidder ; 
3, Duncan of Blarcherin ; 4, Alexander of Glenairm ; 5, Donald Glas of Inver- 
inan ; 6, a daughter, married Maclntyre, wadsetter of Glenoe ; 7, a daughter, 

married to Robert, son of , otherwise to Stewart of Appin ; 8, a daughter, 

married to Donald Campbell of the house of Kirkton ; 9, a daughter, married 
to Colin Campbell, South Ardchattan. 

3 Issue by 2nd wife — 1, Colin of Balliveolan ; 2, Duncan of Auch ; 
3, Robert of Dalmally ; 4, Allan or Alexander of Invei-eich ; 5, Annabel, 
married Alexander Stewart of Balachulish ; 6, Isobel, married Cameron of 
Kinlochleven ; 7, Margt., married Macdougall of Corrielorn ; 8, Barbara, mar- 
ried Patrick, son to Campbell of Auchnara ; 9, Catharine, married Archibald, 
son to James Campbell of Lix. The Christian name of John Campbell of 
Barcaldine's wife of the Lochiel family is given as Isobel. 

4 Other sons, John of Corries, James of Raray, Colin Dubh, Alexander, 
and 5 daughters. 

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126 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

1. John of Barcaldiuc, who succeeded his father. 

(1). Anne, married Charles Campbell of Ardchattan. 
Patrick of Barcaldine married, 2nd, in 1707, Lucia (otherwise 
Luisa), daughter of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, by whom he 
.had issue. 

2. Colin of Glenure. who served in Loudon's Highlanders in 

Scotland and abroad, aud retired after the peace ; that 
regiment was disbanded in 1748. He was factor for 
Government on the forfeited estates of Stewart of Ard- 
sheil, of Cameron of Callart, and of Mamore, part of that 
of Cameron of Lochiel : murdered on 14th May, 1752, 
by Allan Breck Stewart or some assassin unknown, when 
his brother Duncan succeeded as heir male to Glenure. 
He married 9th May, 1749, Janet, eldest daughter of 
Colonel the Hon. Hugh Mackay of Bighouse, son of 
Lord Reay, and had issue three daughters : — 

(1). Louisa, who inherited the estate of Bighouse on the 
death of her grandfather in 1770 ; she married, 11th 
June, 1768, her cousin, George Mackay of Island- 
handa, and had issue 19 children. [Note. — The Hon. 
Hugh Mackay's daughter, Kobina, married William 
Baillie of Rosshall (or Rosehall), in Sutherland, 2nd 
son of Alex. Baillie of Dochfour]. 

(2). Elizabeth, died unmarried. 

(3). Colina, born posthumous, married James Baillie, Esq. 
of Ealing Grove, Middlesex, merchant in London, 2nd 
son of Hugh Baillie, Esq. <,f Dochfour, Inverness-shire, 
and had issue. 

3. Donald, Surgeon R.N., died unmarried in the West Indies. 

4. Alexander, a Lieutenant, and perhaps afterwards Captain, 

in Loudon's Highlanders, but perhaps a Lieutenant 
in Montgomery's Highlanders in 1757, wounded at 
Louisberg in 1758, died at Quebec 1759. 1 

5. Duncan, of whom presently. 

" 6. Robert, a merchant at Stirling, apparently married, with 
issue, and had a son Patrick. 
7. Archibald, an officer of the army. 

1 Among the officers in Loudon's Highlanders (raised in 1745) were 
Patrick C M son of Achallader ; Alexander C, brother to Barcaldine ; Colin C. 
of Glenure. A Lieut. Alexr. C. (Balcaldine) was wounded at capture of Louis- 
bourg in 1 758, probably an officer in Montgomery's Highlanders or in Fraser's 

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The Big house Papers. 127 

8. Allan, an officer in one of the three Companies of Black 
Watch raised in 1 745 ; he served many years in that 
regiment, and was afterwards a general officer. 
(2). Isobel, married John Campbell of Achallader, her first 
cousin, their mothers being daughters of Sir Ewen 
Cameron of Lochiel. [JVbte.— »Achallader begins his 
letter to Barcaldine " My dear Brother."] 
(3). Mary, married Alexander Macdougall of Dunolly. 
(4). Annabel, married Archibald Campbell of Melfort. 
(5). Jane, married Campbell of Edinchip. 
Patrick Campbell of Barcaldine died 1738, and was succeeded 
by his son. 

V. John Campbell of Barcaldine, born approximately about 
1700, one of Lord Breadalbane's factors on part of his estate, a 
captain in Argyllshire Militia in 1745, later factor on the forfeited 
Perth estate, and living at Crieff; a J.P. in Argyle and Perth 
shires, a Commissioner of Supply, and a D.L.; he married Margaret, 
daughter of Campbell of Keithock, and had issue — 

1. Alexander, born about 1729; at 16 years old he joined 

the Argyleshire Militia as a volunteer at his own expense, 
served throughout the rising in '45 and '46, and owing 
to his services got the command of one of the Indepen- 
dent Companies in the Expedition to the East Indies 
under Admiral Boscawen in 1748, appointed Major in 
Montgomery's Highlanders in 1757; Lieut. -Col. 48th 
Regt., 1759; and a Colonel in the army August 1777 ; 
Deputy Governor of Fort-George, 1771. He married 
1st August, 1765, Helen, born 8th June, 1747, daughter 
of George Sinclair, and sister of the Right Hon. Sir 
John Sinclair of Ulbster, M.P., and had issue — 
1. Patrick, who died unmarried in 1783. 
(i). Janet, married ^Eneas Mackay of Scotstown. 
(2). Matilda, who died unmarried. 

(3). Jean, married at Thurso Castle 2nd January, 1784, to 
James, 1 2th Earl of Caithness, and died at Edinburgh, 
2nd April, 1853, leaving issue. 
(4). Isobel, born 1773. 
Colonel Alexr. Campbell never succeeded to the family estate ; 
he died at Bath, 22nd April, 1779 ; his widow died at Edinburgh 
5th April, 1787, aged 40. 

2. Patrick, referred to in letter No. 81, from his uncle, 


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128 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

3. David, a W.S., Edinburgh, who evidently got into some 

trouble, and went to New York; he married a Miss 
Campbell of the Argyll family. 

4. Colin, a letter from him dated 14th Deer., 1762 ; died 

unmarried, in Grenada, West Indies. 
Others, including probably George, in General Gage's regi- 
ment ; he died unmarried. Mungo, a Lt.-Col. killed at 
Fort-Montgomerie, N. America, in command of 52nd 
Regiment. I understand he was a natural son, and 
he was with Glenure, his uncle, when the former was 
murdered by Allan Breck. Col. Mungo was married, and 
had issue. 

(1). Margaret, married John Campbell of Danna. 

(2). Annie, married Capt. Trapaud. 

(3). Matilda, married Capt. Neil Campbell of Duntroon. 

John Campbell of Barcaldine, being deeply involved in debt, 
sold the family estates to his half brother, Duncan, and so was 
succeeded by — 

VI. Duncan Campbell of Barcaldine and Glenure, fifth son 
(but fourth by the second marriage) of Patrick Campbell of 
Barcaldine ; he was born about 1716, was at one time Sheriff- 
Substitute for Perthshire at Killin ; married, in 1744, Mary, 
daughter of Alexander Macpherson, Esq., and sister of Sir James 
Macpherson, Bart., and died in 1784, having had issue — 

1. Alexander, his heir. 

2. Patrick, appointed Lieutenant 77th Atholl Highlanders, 

1778 ; captain in Wallers Corps in 1783, afterwards a 
major ; he appears to have become blind, and lived later 
with his cousin at Thurso Castle ; married a daughter 
of James Pearsall of New York, and had issue. 

3. James, Lieut. 42nd, and later captain 77th Atholl High- 

landers, 1777, died 1782. 

4. Colin, Captain 2nd Batt. 42nd, raised 1780; wounded at 

Paniane, 1782. 

5. Hugh, an officer in the army ; a Lieut, in Fraser's High- 

landers, 1775; married a daughter of a brother of 
Cameron of Fassifern. 
iJ. William, appointed Ensign 77th, 1782 ; Lieut. 1783, 

placed on half-pay on reduction 1783. 
(1). Lucy, married Sir Ewen Cameron, Bart, of Fassifern. 
Duncan of Barcaldine and Glenure was succeeded by his eldest 

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The Big house Papers. 129 

VII Alexander Campbell of Barcaldine and Glenure, a mem- 
ber of the Faculty of Advocates, born 30th April, 1745, married 
22nd September, 1785, Mary, daughter of John Campbell, Esq., of 
Edinburgh, and died 17th March, 1800, having had issue : — 

1. Duncan, created a Baronet. 

2. John, died s.p. in 1808. 

3. Peter William, in the Military Service of the E.I. Com- 

pany; died in Bengal in 1819 s.p. 

4. Colin Alexander, Major 74th Foot, born 23rd September, 

1796, died s.p. 10th March, 1863. 
(1). Caroline Louisa Anne, died unmarried 19th March, 1848. 
(2). Maria Helen, married 8th October, 1818, the Rev. Hugh 

Fraser, Ardchattan, and died 4th January, 1862, having 

had issue. 

Alexander Campbell of Barcaldine and Glenure died 1800, and 
was succeeded by his eldest son. 

VIII. Sir Duncan Campbell of Barcaldine and Glenure, born 
3rd July, 1786, created a Bart. 30th September, 1831 ; was 
Captain in the Scots Fusilier Guards ; served at Copenhagen, in 
Walcheren Expedition, and in Peninsula ; acted as A.D.C. to his 
cousin, General Sir Alex. Campbell, of the Achalader family, at 
Talavera ; a Magistrate and D.L. for Argyleshire ; he married 
22nd February, 1815, Elizabeth Dreghorn, daughter of James 
Dennistoun of Dennistoun, Co. Dumbarton, and had 

1. Alexander, 2nd Bart., born 1819, and six other sons and 
four daughters. Sir Duncan died 2nd April, 1842, and 
was succeeded by his eldest son. 

IX. Sir Alexander Campbell, J. P., Sergeant-at-Arms in the 
Queen's Household, Captain Argyle and Bute Militia ; born 15th 
June, 1819, married 1855 Harriette, daughter of Admiral Henry 
Collier, R.N., and had issue ; — 

1 . Duncau Alexander Dundas, present Bart. 

2. Eric Reginald Duncan, Captain 2nd Battalion P.V. Royal 

Irish Fusiliers, born 28th November, 1857. 
(1). Harriette Beatrice Mabel. 
(2). Flora Mary Muriel. 
Sir Alexander died 11th December, 1880, and was succeeded 
by his eldest son. 

X. Sir Duncan Alexander Dundas Campbell, Bart, of Barcal- 
dine, Captain 4th Battalion Highland Light Infantry, Gentleman 
Usher of the Green Rod, b. 4th December, 1856. 


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130 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Descent of the Campbells op Achalader, taken from a Memorial 
History of the Campbells of Melfort. 

I. Archibald, or Gillespie Dubh, son of Sir Colin Campbell* 
sixth laird of Glenorchy, by Margaret, daughter of Bishop Alex. 
Stewart and widow of Patrick Graham of Inchbrakie, married 
Mary, daughter of John Dubh na Lainne, alias Macgregor, and 
had a son. 

II. John Dubh, who married Mary, daughter of Donald 
Stewart, Invernayle, whose grandmother on the father's side was 
a daughter of Lochiel ; they had a son. 

III. Archibald, who married Margery, daughter of Colin Mac- 
pherson of Bear [Qy. Brin], whose mother was a daughter of Hugh 
Fraser of Lovat ; and Margery's mother was a daughter of Macleod 
of Harris ; they had a son. 

IV. Allister Dubh, who married Agnes, daughter of John 
Macnab of Borane, by Mary, daughter of Duncan Campbell of 
Glenlyon ; John Macnab's mother was Catharine, daughter of Sir 
Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy ; they had a son. 

V. John, who married in 1713, Katharine, daughter of Sir 
Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, and had 3 sons and 4 daughters. 

1. John of Achalader. 

2. Archibald, of old 78th (Campbell's Highlanders), killed in 

German War at Felinghausen, 1761, as Major. 

3. Patrick, joined Loudon's Highlanders, 1745, died in 

(1). Louisa, married Campbell of Achline. 
(2). Jane, married Cameron of Fassifern, her cousin, father 

of Sir Ewen of Fassifern. 
(3). Anne, married Patrick (Para Dubh an Achaidh) Camp- 
bell of Auch. 
(4). Margaret, died unmarried. 
VI. John of Achalader married his cousin, Isabella, daughter 
of Patrick Campbell of Barcaldine, and had issue. 

1. John, Lieut.-Col. Breadalbane Fencibles, died 1799 


2. Patrick, married Ann, daughter of Livingston, Esq. 

3. Archibald, Colonel 80th Regiment, died 1825, married 

Margaret, daughter of Admiral Edwards. 

4. Sir Alexander, K.C.B. and Bart., who married 1st, Olympia 

Elizabeth, daughter of William Mosshead, from whom is 
descended Sir Alex. Cockburn Campbell, and 2ndly, 
Elizabeth Ann, daughter of liev. F. Pemberton. 

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The Bighouse P&pers. 131 

5. Colina, married John Campbell of Melfort, son of Archibald 

(Melfort), by Annabel, daughter of Patrick Campbell of 

6. Louisa Maxwell, married Patrick Macdougall of Macdougall 

(Dunollie), whose mother was Mary, daughter of Patrick 
Campbell of Barcaldine, by his wife Lucia, daughter of 
Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel. 

VII. Patrick of Achalader, 2nd son of John, married Ann* 

-daughter of Livingston ; he bought Ballied, now called 

Achalader, and died there 1811. They had an only child John 

VIII. John Livingston of the Coldstream Guards married Ann, 
-daughter of Reginald Macneil of Barra, by whom he had a son, 
John Livingston, father of the present representative of the family 
Major John Colin Livingston Campbell, R.E., of Achalader, and a 
•daughter Jane. 

The Camerons of Lochiel, from Sir Ewbn (Evandhu), as given in 
"Burke's Landed Gentry," edit. 1846, with some additions. 

Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, born 1629, married 

1st, Mary, daughter of Sir Donald Macdonald of Slate; no 


2nd, a daughter of Sir Lachlan Maclean of Dowart, by whom 

he had 

1. John, his heir, who succeeded him. 

2. Donald, Maj. in service of States of Holland ; d. s. p. 1718. 

3. Alan, died at Rome, in service of Chev. St George, leaving 

3 daughters, of whom the eldest married Campbell of 
(1). Margaret, married to Alex. Drummond (otherwise 

Macgregor) of Balhaldie. 
(2). Anne, married Alan Maclean of Ardgour. 
(3). Katharine, married William, brother german of Sir 

Donald Macdonald of Slate. 
(4). Janet, married Grant of Glenmoriston. 
3rd, Jean, daughter of Barclay of Urie, and had by her 

4. Ludovick, married his cousin. 

(5). Christian, married Alan Cameron of Glendessary. 

(6). Jean, married Macpherson of Cluny. 

(7). Isobel, married Archibald Cameron of Dungallon. 

(8). Lucy, married Peter Campbell of Barcaldine. 

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132 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

(9). Ket, married John Campbell of Achallader. 
(10). Una, married Robert Barclay of Ury. 
(11). Marjory, married Macdonald of Morar. 
Note. — Sir Ewen's father, John Cameron, yr. of Lochiel, pre- 
deceased his father, having married Margaret, eldest daughter of 
Sir Robert Campbell <>\' Glenorchy, by whom he had Ewen, who 
succeeded his grandfather, and Donald, ancestor of the Camerons 
of Glendessary and Dungallon. 

Sir Ewen Cameron died in 1719, aged 90, and was succeeded 
by his sou, John, as representative of the family. 

John Cameron of Lochiel, called John Macewen, had joined the 
Earl of Mar in 1715, for which he suffered attainder and forfeiture. 
He married Isobel, sister of Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochnell, by 
whom he had issue. 

1. Donald, his heir. 

2. John, of Fassifern, married Jane, daughter of John 

Campbell of Achalader, his cousin ; father of Sir Ewen 
of Fassifern, who was created a baronet in 1817, for the 
gallant services of his son, Colonel John Cameron, who 
fell at Quatre Bras in command of the 92nd. 

3. Archibald, a physician, who was out in the '45, escaped to 

France, and was first a Captain in Lord Ogilvie's regi- 
ment, then of Grenadiers, and a Captain in his brother's 
regiment, and probably for some time an Army Surgeon. 
He appears to have also held a Colonel's commission 
in the Spanish service. (See " Stuart Papers," No. 
CCLVI.) He was in Scotland in the winter of 1749 on 
a mission with Lochgarry and others, when they got 
some of the treasure belonging to the exiled Stuarts, 
which was hidden at Locharkaig, apparently on instruc- 
tions, perhaps forged by some one, but gave Cluny a 
receipt. He and Lochgarry were again sent on another 
mission by Prince Charlie towards the end of 1752, but 
the Dr was apprehended near Inversnaid 20th March, 
1753, sent to London, tried, and executed. He married 
Jean, daughter of Archibald Cameron of Dungallon, her 
mother, Isobel, being a half-sister of his father, and had 
by her four sons and one daughter. 

John Cameron of Lochiel died at Newport, in Flanders, in 1748, 
and was succeeded in the representation of the family by his 
eldest son. 

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The Big house Papers. 133 

Donald Cameron of Lochiel, who had succeeded to the family 
•estates on the death of his grandfather, Sir Ewen, rejoined Prince 
Charlie in 1745. After the Battle of Culloden he retired to France, 
a,nd was attainted and forfeited. He got command of the 
44 Regiment of Albany," with power of naming his own officers, and 
was enabled to Mve suitably to his rank. He married Anne, 
daughter of Sir James Campbell, fifth baronet of Auchenbreck, by 
whom he left at his death (in the same year as his father), 25th 
October, 1748— 

1. John, his heir. 

2. James, Captain in the Royal Regiment of Scots in France; 

died unmarried in 1759. 

3. Charles, who succeeded his brother, John. 

(1). Isobel, married Colonel Mores in the French service. 

(2). Janet, died in a convent at Paris. 

(3). Henri et, married Captain Portin in the French service. 

(4). Donalda. 
John Cameron of Lochiel succeeded his father, Donald ; he 
had served as a Captain in his father's regiment, and, after his 
death, in the Royal Scots. He returned to Scotland in 1759, and 
died in 1762, when he was succeeded by his brother, Charles 
-Can.eron of Lochiel, great-grandfather of the present Lochiel. 

Selections from the Bighouse Papers, 
no. I. 

*' Letter from John, first Earl of Breadalbane, to Alexander 
Campbell of Barcaldine, dated Edinburgh, 26th May, 1692. 
Note. — It is addressed ' ffor Alexr. Campbell of Barcaldine/ 
and doequeted * Lr. anent the Glenco men.' 

"Edr. 26 May 1692. 
" I did yesterday receive yours of the 18th instant : I have 
already taken too much pains to blame all persons who hade t 
accessione to the killing of the Glencoe men, iff they cane be 
made beleive that I had the lest thought yrof : and amongst other 
lyes this enclosed is absolutely false in matter of fact ffor Major 
Fforbes wes come from London befor I cam yr. and I met ym. 
upon the road many weeks befor that misfortoune of Glencoe ; 
nor doe I believe that C. A. 1 writt any Letter or any such thing 
to Glengarie. I wish to know the person that saw the Letter or 
M. A's Letter which I also little belive to have been writen. Iff 

1 Perhaps Campbell of Ardkinglass, Sheriff of Argyle. 

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134 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

ye Glencoe men will not be satisfyed that I am also Inocent of 
that affaire as the Chyld unborne is I will not take any more 
pains upon ym. They may understand its all malice — to hound 
ym. at me that maks this discourse and could tell ym. that iff 
they prefer the ffalse sugestiones of enemies to the trewths yrof . I 
assure you I doe warne them that in case they doe me any hurt 
they will ffynd me yr. enemie which is the desyre of many persons. 
But I expect they will be better advysed and take all ye good I 
can doe for ym. in this the tyme of their miserie, and ffor soe 
doing let ym. offer to doe me all the service in yr. power to 
dissappoynt such designs. I sent my advyse already how they 
should carie themselves, which is all at present. But yt. I assuire 
you I never spock of Glencoe nor Glencoe men at London nor 
elseqr. to my Lord A. l untill I heird off that slaughter and yn. I 
expostulat extreamly with ym. their men should be accessorie to 
it, and yir answer was that they behoved to obey orders. — 
I remaine, (Sd.). " Breapalbane." 

" Notarial Copy of Decreet before the Court of Justiciary at 
Inverness at the instance of James Cumiug of Dalshangie 
and others against John Macdonald of Polveig Laird of 
Glenco and others. 

"20th Deer. 1695. 
" Justiciary Court holden within the Tolbooth of Inverness on 
the Twentieth day of December One thousand six hundred and 
ninety-five years Be Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonstoun [left 
blank], Cuming of Altyre, Sir Alexander- M'Kenzie of Coul, Sir 
Donald Bayn of Tulloch, Mr Alexr. Rose <>f Clava, Mr Simon 
M'Kenzie of Taraden, Mr David Poison of Kinmylies, Mr William 
M'Intosh of Aberarder, Farquhar M'Gillivray of Dunmaglass, 
Alex. Sutherland of Pronsie, Mr .John Gordon of Carroll, Sheriff" 
Depute of Sutherland, Commissioners of Justiciary appoiuted for 
secureing the Peace of the Highlands within the Northern District 
conveened for the time, when the said Sir Robert Gordon was- 
chosen Preses of the meeting curia legitime affirmata That day 
annent the Lybelled Precept Raised and pursued before the saids 
Commissioners at the instance of James Cuming of Dalshangie 
elder, James Cuming younger thereof, Alexr. Roy M'Comas there, 

1 " My Lord A." Perhaps the Lord Advocate, but more probably Lord 
Aberuchill, who with Stair is said to have kept back the date of M'lan's. 
taking the oath. 

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The Bighouse Papers. 135 

Donald M* William there, and Duncan M 'William Bayn there, 
Tennants and Servants there, Parties Leased 1 and David Cuming 
Pro'r fiscal of the said Court for His Majestie's interest against 
John Macdonald of Polveig Laird of Glencoe, Ranald M'Donald of 
Leckinloym, John M'Innish vie Allan in Laraclj, Donald M'Donald 
of Achatriechatan, Donald M'Alister Roy in Brealerlaid, Alexander 
M'Donald Brother to Glenkoe, Angus M'Donald alias M'Alister 
Roy in Stroan, Alexander Cameron in Gargoich and against Robert 
Steuart of Appin and Donald Steuart Tutor of Appin as Masters 
to the forenamed persons, dwelling on their lands Make and 
mention that albeit the Common Law, Municipall Laws dayly 
custome and practig of this kingdom the crimes of theft, recept of 
theft, stouth of robberies oppressions and others of the like nature 
be expressly forbidden and the Committers thereof punishable 
accordingly, Yet true it is and of verity that the forenamed 
persons complained upon are Acters, Receptors art and part of the 
saidis crimes In sua far as they with severall others their accom- 
plices of their causing sending hounding out Command Precept 
assistance and Ratihabitione came to the bounds of the lands of 
Dalshangie houses and folds thereof, in the month of October 
one thousand six hundred and eightie nine years upon one or other 
of the days of the said month, and therefrae most masterfully 
Robbed wrongously intromitted with and away took from the 
saids complra. seven score fifteen cows great and small, worth Ten 
Pounds Scots money the piece overhead, Item Threttie twa piece 
of horse and mears worth the like sum of Ten Pounds money for- 
said the piece overhead and the haill portable household plenishing, 
armes pertaining to the said Tennants above named worth one 
hundred pounds money forsaid, which cattle horse plenishing 
armour and others forsaid Robbed and masterfully away taken as 
said is were driven by the persons above complained upon and 
their accomplices to the Lands of Glencoe, Appin and Gargoich, 
and the saids persons there receive possessions thereof, where they 
were perpelled, divided and disposed of be them at their pleasure 
Through want of which cattle, horse and others Lybelled with the 
Devastation of their lands and provisions the Complainers sustained 
the damage and loss of one thousand pounds money above written 
Besides and by and attour the sum of [left blank] Debursed 

and carried out be them In reference to the Premisses, And there- 
fore the persons above complained upon and Ilk one of them in 
solidum ought and should be Decerned to make payment to the 

1 Leased, i.e., hurt or injured. 

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136 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

saids complainers of the particular avails prices above written 
with the damage and expenses above mentioned and also ought to 
underly the law for the criminal part as accords and their Rexive 1 
masters a named ought to present them to that effect or be 
decerned in solidum with their said men in the Terms of the Act 
of Parliament as in the Priull. Lybelled precept raised in the 
said matter at lenth is contained The Saids pursuers Compearand 
personally with William and Alexr. Cumings writers their Procurs. , 
who repeated their Lybell and craved Decreet conform to the said 
conclusion thereof and the saids Defenders both men and their 
saids masteis being of times called and not compearand though 
they were lawfully summond be John Monro Sheriff and Justiciary 
Officer to have compeared at this Court to have answered at the 
saids Pursuers- Instances in manner to the effect and for the causes 
Lybelled with Certification the saids Commissioners of Justiciary 
Held and hereby Hold the saids Defenders all pro Confessis and 
have Decerned and hereby Decern them and ilk one of them in 
solidum both men and masters to make payment and satisfaction 
to the saids Complrs. of the said sum of Ten Poands Scots money 
as price of ilk one of the said number of Seven score fifteen Cows 
great and small and the like sum of Ten Pounds money forsaid as 
price of ilk one of the said number of Threttie tua piece of horse 
and mears young and old with the said sum of one hundred 
pounds money forsaid as price of the household plenishing and 
armes all masterfully wrongously intromitted with and away taken 
in manner and at the time @ written As also to make payment of 
the said sum of one thousand pounds money forsaid of damage 
sustained by the Pursuers through want of their said cattle horse 
and others above written, devastatione of their Lands extending 
in all to the saids prices and damage to the sum of Two thousand 
nine hundred and seventy pounds, and sicklike to make payment 
of the sura of Two hunder ninety Seven pounds as the Tenth part 
of the said haill accumulat sums due to the saids Commissioners 
themselves conform to their Comnjission which Tenth part the 
Commissioners @ named have unanimously assigned and hereby 
assigns to the saids Pursuers, and have Reconnr ended and hereby 
Recommends to the Commanders of his Majestie's forces in the 
rexive 1 adjacent Garrisons to give their aid and concurrence to the 
execution of this Decreet Because the saids Defenders both men 
and masters have been lawfully cited to have compeared at this 
Court to the effect above written, and that they nor no other in 

1 Rexive : for Respective, 

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The Big house Papers. 137 

their names compeared and that the pursuers made faith giveing 
their Oath in Litem upon the value of their Cattle horse and 
others above mentioned and Damages forsaicl Therefore the saids 
Commissioners of Justiciary have Holden and hereby Holds the 
saids Defenders pro confessis and gave their Decreet in manner 
above sett down ordaining all execution necessar to pass thereupon 
in form as effeirs. Extracted by me (sic subscr.) 

" Ja. Baillib Clk. Dept. 

" What is above written is an exact copie of the principall 
Decreet of the date tenor and contents before recited without any 
addition thereto or Diminution therefrom being faithfully com- 
pared by us Notary s Publick subscribing and as such attested by 
us at Inverness the twenty-third day of November IajvijC and 
fifty-two years before these witnesses Lieut. Simon fFraser, son to 
Dunballoch, John Greig vintner in Inverness, and James Cuming 
and Donald M'Bean both writers in Inverness. 

" John Macklean [?] wr. N.P. Willm. Ffraser, N.P. 

" Simon Fraser wittness. 

"John Grieg witness. 

" Donald Macbean [?] wr. witness. 

" James Cuming [?] wr. witness." 


" Inventar of the Wrytts & Evident;: of the Lands and 
JfcTATE of Killmun Delivered by Patrick Campbell of 
Barcaldine ffor himself *>nd in name and behalf e of Agnes 
Campbell his spouse only Laull Daughter to the deceast 
James Campbell of Killmun to Coll. Alexander Campbell of 
ffinab. • 

"Jmprimus, precept of clare constat and Charter containing 
ane novo-damus by Archibald Marquis of Argyle in favours of 
Archibald Campbell of Kilmune a§ son and air to Archibald 
-Campbell his fFather his airs male and Assigneys of the Lands of 
Killmun e Auchalnechar Cafflad Coillemeineth Clerynie ? neting 
and salmond ffishing and of certain @ rents therein mentioned 
containing several priviledges Dated the Twenty second day of 
Jany. IajvjC and ffyftio eight (1658). 

" Item, Sasine following thereupon Dated the eighth Day of 
Apryle IajvjC an fFyftie eight Registrat at Edinr. upon the fyfth 
Day of June yraftr. 

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138 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" Item, a Tack of the Quarter Teinds of Kilmune by John 
Bishop of Lessinore to Archibald Campbell of Kilmune Dated the 
Sixteen day of March IajvjC and twelve (1612). 

" Item, Ane other Tack of the said Teinds by Andrew Bishop 
of Lesmore to Archibald Campbell, Provost of Kilmune Dated the 
seventh day of January IajvjC & thirty three (1633). 

" Item, Charter by Archibald Earle of Argyle . to Duncan 
M'Eanduy vie Angus alias M'Laucblan of the four merk land of 
Ardnadane Dated the penult of June IajvC & nynty four (1594). 

" Item, Lyferent Charter by Duncan M'Lanehlan of Ardnadan 
to Eliz ibeth Campbell alias nean vie ean of two Merk land of t! e 
said ffour merk land of Ardnadan Dated the last day of July 
LvjvC and nyntie seven (1597). 

" Item, Disposition by John M'Lauchlan eldest son and 
apparent air to the said Duncan M'Eanduy vie Angus alias. 
M'Lachlane of Arnadane to Archibald Campbell of Kilmune of the 
said flour merk land of Ardnadane Dated the Eight day of 
December IajviC and thirtie six (1636). 

" Item, Instrument of Resignatione following thereupon Dated 
the Twentie third day of November IajviC and ffourtie one (1641). 

"Item, Charter by Archibald Marques of Argyle upon the 
said Resignatione of the said Lands of Ardnadane in favour of the 
said Archibald Campbell of Kilmune Dated at Edinr. the Twenty 
seventh day of Nover. IajviC & ffourtie one (1641). 

" Item, the said Archibald Campbell of Kilmune his gene rail 
Retour as air to his ffather Dated the second day of December 
IajviC and ffourtie six (1646). * 

" Item, ffew Charter of the Lands of ffinbacan by Mr Niel 
Campbell Bishop of Argyle to Duncan Dow M'Lachlane of Ardna- 
dane and Allason Nian vie ean his spouse Dated the Twenty 
seventh day Of March IajvC and ninetie eight (1598). 

" Item, Contract of Wodset past betwixt Coline Campbell of 
Straquhar with consent of Anna Campbell his spouse on the one 
part and Jannet ffraser Relict of uniqll. Archibald Campbell of 
Kilmune and Archibald Campbell their son with consent of his" 
Curators on the other part whereby for the soume of six thousand 
merks the lands of Craigen and others therein contained are 
wodset to her in liferent and to her said son in ffie which Contract 
is dated the eight day of Novemt er IajvjC and ffyftie one (1651). 

" Item, Charter by the said Coline Campbell of Straquhar with 
consent of his said spouse of the said three merk Land of Craigen 
and others therein contained In favours of the said Jannet ifrazer 
Relict of uraqll Archibald Campbell of Kilmune in Life-rent and 

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The Big house Papers, 139* 

Archibald Campbell her son in me Dated the ffourteen Day of 
March IajvjC and ffyftie ffour (1654). 

" Item, Sasine thereon of the same date Registrat at Edr. the 
tenth day of April e yr aftr. 

" Item, prinll bond by Coline Campbell of Straquhir To Archi- 
bald Campbell of Kilmune for the sou me of aue thousand merks 
Scots with a rent and penalty Dated the Sixth day of ffebruary 
JajvjC and ffyftie ffour. 

"Item, Charter by the Provost and Chaplains of Kilmune 
with consent of the Earle of Argyle as patron In favours of Archi- 
bald Campbell of Kilmune Dated the third and fourtenth days of 
July IajvjC and two of the Lands of Kilmune and others (1602). 

"Item, Assignations by Mr Alexander Colvil Provost of 
Kilmune to [ ] cf any Right which he could pretend 

to the Maills and Dueties of Blairmore Dated the Twentie first 
Day of January IajvjC and ffyftie eight (1658) 

" Item, Charter of erectione of the Burgh of Barrony of Kil- 
mune by King James dated the Twenty first day of November 
IajivC and nyntie (1490). 

" Item, Sasine of the Lands of ffmbarkan In favours of Duncan 
Dow M'Lauchlan Dated in the year IajvC and nyntie nyne (1599). 

" Item, Agreement betwixt James Campbell of Kilmune and 
Mr James Smollct dated the Twenty first day of December IajvjC 
and seventie two (1672). 

" Item, protestation James Campbell of Kilmune against 
Eliangreg anent his keeping Courts on Kilmunes Lands. 

" Item, Discharge Archibald Campbell of Drumsynie to James 
Campbell of Kilmune In part payment of ane bond of a thousand 
merks Dated the Twentie third day of December IajvjC and sixtie 
three (1663). 

" Item, Discharge Hugh Campbell of Garvchorie To James 
Campbel of Kilmune of ffour Hundred merks Dated the ffourteen 
day of July IajvjC and nyntie six (^1698). 

"Item, Tack Sir Dow T gall Campbell of Auchenbreck to A»chi- 
bald Campbell of Kilmune of the Lands of Kilihamaig and Garta- 
brith Dated the Twentie eight day of May IajvjC and nynteen 

" Item, Instrument Kilmune against the Earle of Argyle's 
Chamberlane in the year IajvjC and nyntie one (1691). 

" Item, Generall Discharge Mr James Smollat to James Camp- 
bell of Kilmune Dated the Twenty first Day of November IajvjC 
and seventy seven (1677). 

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140 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

"Item, Severall Discharges of ffe.\ Dueties Coline Campbell 
and others Chamberlanes to the Earle of Argyle to Kilmune. 

" Item, Discharge the Bishop of Argyll to James Campbell of 
Kilmune of Seventeen Bolls one firlot for the Quarter Teinds of 
Kilmune and Twenty eight pounds ffyfteen shilling for Viccarage 
Dated in IajvjC and Seventie two (1672). 

" Item, Discharge Coline Campbell of Straquhur to James 
Campbell of Kilmune of the flew Dueties he possesses in Straquhur 
Dated the Twenty sixth day of December IajvjC and seventie six 

" The Grounds of Blyths wood's Adjudicatione. 

u Item, Bond by Archibald Campbell of Kilmune to Colin 
Campbell merchant burges of Glasgow for ffyve Hundred merks 
with @ rent and penalty Dated the Twelfth Day of January IajvjC 
and ffourtie ffour (1644). 

" Item, Another bond by Archibald Campbell of Kilmune as 
prinll and James Campbell of Ardkinglas and Coline Campbell of 
Lochnell as Cautss to the said Coline Campbell therein designed 
Colin Campbell of Blythswood in name and behalfe of his sons 
therein named for the soum of Seventeen Hundred merks with @ 
rent and penalty Dated the Twenty seventh of Aprile TajvjC and 
ffyftie eight (1658). 

" Item, Bond by the said Archibald Campbell of Kilmune to 
Elizabeth ffrizel Relict of umqll Walkinshaw of that ilk and to 
Susanna Walkinshaw her daughter for ane Thousand merks with 
@ rent and penalty Dated the Twenty second day of December 
IajvjC and ffourcie (1640). 

" Item, Assignation thereof by the said Susanna Walkinshaw 
to Coline Campbell of Blythswood Dated the Twenty sixth day of 
October IajvjC and six tie ffyve (1665). 

" Item, Bond by the said Archibald Campbell of Kilmune to 
Archibald Campbell Uncle to Duncan Campbell of Carrick for the 
soum of a Thousand murks Dated the Seventeen day of July 
IajvjC and ffourtie three (1643). 

" Item, Assignation thereof by the said Archibald Campbell of 
Kilmune to John McEwin merchant in Kilmichel in Glassie Dated 
the nynteen day of Apryle IajvjC and sixtie ffour (1664). 

" Item, Decreet following thereupon obtained before the Lords 
of Council and Sessione At the instance of the said John McEwin 
against James Campbell of Kilmune air at least Lawfully charged 
to enter air to the said Archibald his father Dated the sixteen 
Day of November IajvjC and eightie one (1681). 

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The Big house Papers. 141 

" Item, Translatione thereof by the said John McEwin to the 
said Coline Campbel of Blythswood Dated the ffourth day of 
Apryle IajvjC and sixtie fFyve (1665). 

" Item, Bond Archibald Campbel of Kilmune To Walter 
Watsone Nottar in Dumbartone for Three Hundred and ffyftie 
merks Dated the nyntb Dav of January IajvjC and ffyftie seven 

" Item, Assignation by the said Walter Watson thereof to 
Blvthswood Dated the fourth day of Aprvle IajvjC and sixtie ffyve 

" Item, Contract of Marriage betwixt Mr Alexander Gordon 
Minister at Inveraray and Margaret Campbel daughter to the 
deceast Archibald Campbel of Kilmunewith consent of her ffrends 
therin named Dated the tenth Day of November IajvjC and ffyftie 
one whereby Archibald Campbel of Kilmune her Brother and 
Jannet Shearer her mother bouud and obliged them to pay to the 
said Mr Alexr Gordon the soum of Two thousand ffyve Hundred 
merks in name of Tocher with his sd Spouse (1651). 

" Item, Assignation therof by the said Mr Alexander Gordon 
to the sd. Coline Campbell of Blythswood dated the fourth day 
of Apryle IajvjC and sixtie ffyve (1635). 

" Item, Generall Charge to enter air the said Coline Campbel 
against James Campbel of Kilmune to enter to the sd. Archibald 
his Brother. 

" Item, Renunciation by the said James Campbell to enter air 
. to his said Brother Dated 

" Item, Decreet of Adjudicatione Cognitionis causa at the 
Instance of the said Coline Campbell of Blythswood against the 
said James Campbell and the lands and Estate of Kilmune follow- 
ing upon the forsaid bonds Dated the Eight day of July IajvjC 
and Sixtie six (1666). 

" Item, Letters of Horning at his instance against the 
Superiors for infefting him in the Lands contained in said Decreet. 

" Item, Summonds of Maills at his instance agst the Tennents 
of Kilmune. 

" Item, Act following thereupon Blythswood against the said 

" Item, Disposition by Coline Campbel now of Blythswood son 
and air served and retoured to the said Coline Campbel of Blyths- 
wood of the forsd Decreet of Adjudication Grounds and warrands 
therof Lands and soumes of money therin contained In favours of 
Alexander Campbel of Barcalden Dated the seventh day of October 
one Thousand seven Hundred and two. 

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142 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

" Item, Disposition and Assignatione thereof by tbe sd. Alex- 
ander Campbel to Patrick Campbel his son Dated tbe Twenty day 
of January IajvjjC and three. 

*' Item, Cancelled Backbond be Colin Campbell of Blythswood 
To Susanna Walkinshaw relative to the debt therein mentioned 
assigned by her to him. 

"Item, Discharge by John M'Ewen to James Campbell of 
Killmun Dated the Twenty second day of January IajvjC and 
Eightie fry ve (1685). 

" Item, Discharge by the said John M'Ewen to the sd. James 
Campbell of Killmun Dated the ffourteen Day of ffebruary IajvjC 
and Eightie ffour (1684). 

" Item, Suspension Campbel of Kilmun contra M 'Arthur of 
{ ] dated in anno one Thousand six hundred and eightie 


"Item, Inhibitione Archibald Campbell of Kilmun agst. 
Campbell of Arkinlas anno IajvjC and Twenty nyne Regrat. at 
Edr. anno IajvjC twenty nyne (1629). 

" Item, Act of the Lords of the Sessione Campbell of Killmune 
against Campbell of Ardkinglass in March IajvjC and thirteen 

" Item, Assignatione be Campbell of Straqr. to John Campbell 
his uncle of the Bishops quarter Teinds of Kilmune Dated the 
Eight day of June IajvjC and seventie six (1676). 

" Item, Recept of poynding James Campbell of Killmune 
against severall persons for Teinds anno IajvjC and nyntie tw r o 

1 " Item, Tack of Teynds by Duncan Campbell Provost of 
Killmun with consent of the Earl of Argyle In favour of Archd 
Campbell of Kilmun dated the twenty fourth of July IajvjC and 
two years (1602). 

" Item, Obligation Coline Campbell of Strathquhar to Jannet 
ffrazer Relict of Archibald Campbell of Kilmun ffor giving ane 
herell. bond for six thousand merks Dated in December IajvjC 
and ffourtie nyne (1649). 

" Item, Discharge Hugh Campbell of Garrowcherran to James 
Campbell of Killmune of Two Hundred merks of his Tocher, anno 
IajvjC and nyntie ffyve (1695). 

" Item, an Agreement betwixt Archibald Earle of Argyle and 
John Campbell provost of Kilmun his Brother with Coline 
Campbell of Balquhidder their Brother dated the twelvth day of 
May one thousand ffour Hundred and ffyftie (1450). 

1 This Item is added in the margin of the Inventory. 

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The Big house Papers. 143 

"Item, Discharge be J hn McEwen to Janet Campbell of 
Killmune Dated the nynth Day of May IajvjC and eightie ffyve 

"Item, Contract of Marriage betwixt Coline Campbell of 
Strachurr and Anna Campbell daughter to Archibald Campbell of 
Killmun whereby he is bound to pay ffour thousand pounds of 
Tocher to Strachurr Dated the Twentie first day of October IajvjC 
and tfourtie three (1643). 

" Item, Discharge be Campbell of Strachurr to Campbell of 
Killmun of the said sum of ffour Thousand Pounds of Tocher 
dated fifth Febry. IajvjC and fifty four (1654), 

" Item, Disposition and Assignatione Robert Campbell of 
Silvercraige To Patrick Campbell younger of Barcaldine of ane 
apprysing Ledd at the instance of the said Robert against the 
Lands and Estate of Kilmune which Dispositione is dated at Edr. 
the Twenty second day of Apryle IajvjiC and two (1702). 

"Item, Disposition be William Mcffarlane of Drumfade To 
James Campbell of Killmun of ane bond ffor Three Hundred and 
ffyfty merks of prinll with @ rent and penalty granted to Archi- 
bald Campbell of Killmun to Walter Watson Nottar in Dumbarton 
and to which bond the said William Mcffarlane hes right in 
manner mentd. in the sd Disposition which is dated the sixth day 
of December IajvjC and seventy eight (1678). 

"Item, Bond of Corroboration fer the prinll scum of Seven 
Thousand merks granted by John Campbell of Strachurr with 
consent of his Interdicter therin mentioned to Agnes Campbell 
only Lawful Daughter to James Campbell of Kilmun and Patrick 
Campbell younger of Barcalden her husband fer his interest Dated 
the ij and eigh tenth of Janry and third of May IajvjjC and fyve 

" Which wrytts and Evidents contained in the above wrytten 
Inventar are delyvered by the said Patrick Campbell of Barcalden 
for himselfe and in name and behalfe of the said Agnes Campbell 
his Spouse to the said Coll Alexander Campbell of ffinab wherof 
the said Collonell grants the Recept and obleidges him his airs 
and successors to make the samen together with such Charters as 
he has gote from the Duke of Argyle of the said Lands forth- 
coming ffer the better enabling them to defend in any Actione of 
Eviction that may be intented against him or his forsaid of the 
said Lands and Estate now Disponed by the said Patrick and 
Agnes Campbell to him, or that may be Intented against them as 
representing the said deceast James Campbell of Killmun or any 
other of the said Agnes her predecessors And as to such of the 

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144 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Grounds or Warrands of Blythswoods Adjudication and Silver- 
craigs Apprysing as are wanting and not contained in the Estate 
Inventar the said Collonell Alexander Campbell takes his hazaid 
of recovering the same from the Havers thereof and shall not 
burden the said Patrick or Agnes Campbells their airs or suc- 
cessors with seeking out or delivery of the same. In Witness 
whereof Both of them have subscrybed thir presents (written be 
James Ogston wrytter in Edr. At Fidinburgh the nynth day of 
May IajvjjC and fyve years before these witnesses Colen Campbell 
writer to the signet and Colen Kirk writer in Edinburgh inserter 
of the place date and witnesses names and designationes and of 
the marginall note). 

" Co. Campbell, Witness. " Aler. Campbel. 

" Colen Kirk, Witness. " Pat. Campbell." 

Note by Editor Northern Chronicle : — James Campbell, the last 
of the old lairds of Kilmun, died about the beginning of last 
century. His only daughter was the wife jf Patrick Campbell of 
Barcaldine. The estate was sold to Colonel Alexander Campbell 
of Finab, or Fonab, in Atholl, who repelled Glenlyon's invasion of 
Argyll, with his Perthshire Jacobites, in 1715. Barcaldine handed 
over the evidents of Kilmun to Finab, as per inventory, on the 
9th of May, 1705. From the many names of persons and places, 
back to the end of the fifteenth century, it contains, the inventory, 
we think, must be interesting to Cowal people, and useful to 
Argyll historians. The parish of Kilmun — in Gaelic Cil-a-Mhuna 
— has long been united with the parish of Dunoon, and, so to 
sp^ak, lost in it. It was ecclesiastically of old the more important 
of the two. Since 1442 the old Collegiate Church of Kilmun, 
founded in that year for a provost and six prebendaries by Sir 
Duncan of Lochawe, first Lord Campbell of Argyll, has ever since 
been the burial place of the Argyll family. 

NO. IV. 

" Letter Anthony Murray of Dollerie to the Laird of Barchalden. ' 

" Sir, — Ye are at full freedom to be sharer in the stones ye 
mention, altho I hade any view of use for them, which is not the 
case at present, and I may even as yet name ane proverb of Scot- 
land That the longest liver bear the burn furthest, so that I plead 
with my willingnesse your taking what of these big stones your 
occasions demand from any ground to which I have right. Janet 
and I offer our good wishes to Lady Barchalden and your familie, 
heartilie wishing you livelie and prosperous accounts of my 

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The Bighouse Papers. 145 

acquaintance your son George, amongst other your American 
friends — I am, Your most obedt humble sent. 

" sd. Anthony Murray. 

" Dollerie May 25th 1727. 

" James Conell desires me to inform you that I know Patrick 
Mershall is provided in ane room by Cultowhey. James hath 
hopes ye have ane vacancie for him : I believe them both to be 
discreet men, and am vexed enough they remained so long unpro- 
vided in rooms by their neighbours assuredly breaking their 
promise to me." 

no. va. 

Letter from Colin Campbell, Glenure, to his brother, John 
Campbell of Barcaldine, the cover addressed to "John 
Campbell of Barcaldine Esq. to the care of the Postmaster 
of Inveraray," and docqueted "Edr. 22 Feby. 1744 Letter 
Colin Campbell of Glenure." 

"Edr. 22dFeb. 1744. 
*' Dr. Broyr — I have had so many letters from you that I'm 
ashamed to own I have made so few answers : let this long scrawle 
which I fancy will tire you be an Appologie for former ommissions. 
" I ended wt Appine before he left this place which you need 
not make a secrete of and have sent my Charter of Portcharran 
to be confinn'd by Lord Glenorchy, which is not yet return'd : I 
had many mo. difficulties to fix matters with the Laird than I 
imagin'd but now all is over. I'm told you had some skirmishes 
wt that country I hope you was not foil'd. 

" I'm very sory for poor Pet. Cam. : it's a very great loss to us 
all, Ld. Breadalban and especially Ld. Monzie are in a great 
concern for him. 

" I remitt you to the Gazetts for Publick News all Britain is 
allarm'd wt an Invasion which is now past a Joack. Expresses 
arrive here every day from London wt fresh orders and its asserted 
that Warrands are given out to apprehend suspected persons, 
particularly young Ld. John Drummond the Duke of Perth's 

" Private news : your old Mistress Annie Campbell, Ld. 
Monzie's daughter run off wt Lewt. John Menzics heir presumptive 
of Appine of Dow a few nights ago, which has put that good 
familie in great affliction. 

" The Master of Glen, is much better, Jack is very well, My 
Lady goes this night to the playhouse from thence to a privat 
Bawll and tomorrow to the Assembly. 


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146 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" This Parragraff for my sister Mrs Robison and all her good 
familie are well. Peggy goes to as many Diversions as is necessary 
for a young Ladie, but neglects no part of her learning in which 
I'm told she makes great progress and is a most charming Dancer. 
She is extremely happy in having Mrs Robison for her Guardian 
who is an exceedingly good kind woman and mighty well regairded 

"To be forwarded to Glencrerin Ballevolan's Daughter is a 
very fine lassie applys her schools very closs and I hope will 
convince John that his 40 stots are well bestow'd. 

" All I have to add for myself is that I begg you tell Allan 
whom I hope you will not neglect it in case they begin to sow in 
Gleniure and Creagan before I get home that he see they sow 
right seed corn and likewise desire the Boumen 1 of Gleniure by no 
means to kill any calves of the cows that were double Isued 2 on 
the Straith of Gleniure, the Brown Bull I got from Airds is their 
Syre, and I want to keep them, male and female. 

" I assure you for all the stay I have made here I have not in 
the least dipt in love hitherto. 

" My kind complements to my sister Miss Robison and the 
young familie and all oyr friends that please to enquire for me. 
— I am Dr Broyr Yours "Colin Campbell." 

no. v6. 
Letter Colin Campbell, Glenure, to John Campbell of Barcaldine. 

" Edr. 15th Novr. 1744. 

" Dr Broyr — Just as I am writing this I receive yours and will 
diliver your Commission about lease to Lord B. Lord Glenorchy 
went of yesterday for London. I can say nothing of Mr DowgalPs 
afair, only it has no bad aspect yett and you may believe I'm not 
idle about it tho' 1 cannot promise for success. 

" The judiciall Rentall was scandalous and to be sure for no 
good designe but I expected no oyr from that Quarter. Your 
letter to the Shirref was a very strong pathetick one and I wish 
you wow'd write such anoyr as the scroll you sent me under cover 
to me to be delivered or not as I see cause I have not yett seen 
the Shirref but propose to see him tomorrow. 

1 Boumen, herdmen or cattlemen. 

3 Double Isued probably mavis having twin calves : all such Glenure 
wished to be kept, in spite of the common bel that twins of different sexes 
would not breed. 

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The Big house Papers. 147 

" Mr John M'Lachlan is come to town, but I hope he'll miss 
liis errand. 

" I wish you wowd send in the Shirref s answer to my sister's 
Letter or a scroll, as likewise a scroll of the Judicial Rentall taken 
loy Airds and Esraggan. 

" I am oblidged to stay here to clear my ffayrs. Intromission 
wt. the estates of Locheil and Clanronald, which accounts, as 
Sandie knows how my papers ly, I have writt him to send me pr. 
-express. I referr you to Sandie about his own affair of Corregeil 
I was resolved to risque my Court on it. 

" I am just now playing all my Polliticks to procure a Com- 
iiiission for Allan in one of the head Companies for the Highland 
Regt. but cannot promise for the success but will write you of it 
.soon. I hope Allan is as diliigent for me at Gleniure and Creagan. 

" James Campbell l the Lieut, was here one night, saw Ld. G., 
dined wt. me and went straight to winter quarters to put an end 
-to the toils of the Companie. Senior Joanino told me upon his 
parting wt. James very gravely he wowd be none of Cuticks 
Tutors, that he had once acted for James Campbell and wowd not 
disseart him, which I as gravely take to be a matter of no great 
moment. I believe we'll get the brunt of the battle ourselves. 

" If you resolve I shou'd do anything in that affair while I am 
here I begg you send me in all the papers relating to it by the 

-express Sandie sends me, and especially the paper of Judge 

you got by Ld. G.'s letter if you don't they'l not overtake me here 
James did not open his lips to me on the subject nor I to him 
but I think 'tis x time to do something in it now or never, Iff. you 
-are not apply'd to to submit it Butt if you are not pray send in 
ail the papers that we may have some advice and light in the 
matter which James has and we want all this time. 

" I begg you'll take the trouble to send Gilpedder wt. a line to 
Duncan Campbell Lessmore to desire himself as well as the oyr. 
Tennants to have all their monie reaplie for me when I go home, 
jou may L elieve I'll be very well appetis'd for it. I have no step 
but to clear the factor accounts. I likeways begg you desire 
Allan to keep a watchfull eye over them in Gleniure and Creagan 
.and to give proper orders about my Cattle both there and in the 
parks of Bars and be as diligent for me as I for him, tho' the 
success does not depend on myself. 

1 James Campbell, the lieut., perhaps James of Glenfalloch, who was 
appointed a lieut. in the Highland Regiment or Black Watch (then the 43rd), 
on 25th Oct., 1739, and was killed at Fontenoy. The writer's brother, Allan, 
.got a commission as ensign in the same regiment, 25th Dec., 1744. 

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148 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" I heard some odd stories here of my Broyr. Dun. 1 and Gibbie 
M'Person about the litle Girle his sister pray desire Duncan to 
write me the whole story as it happen'd. My best wishes to ray 
sister and all your young familie.— I ever am yours 

"Colin Campbell. 
" P.S. — Tell Peggie I hear she's married and that I hope soon 
to see her at her own fireside : what further occurs I'll write by 
next post. M'Dougall will write you by next. He received your 
letter this day." 

Contemporary Letters on the Rebellion of 1715. 
Prefatory Notes by the Editor of the "Northern Chronicle."" 

Lord Glenorchy, whose letters to the Argyllshire factor of his 
father form a very interesting portion of the Bighouse Papers, was 
a man of high character and sterling ability. He was sent as 
Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Denmark in 1718, 
when only twenty-two years old, and succeeded in renewing former 
treaties and concluding a new one. He was atter wards British 
Ambassador at St Petersburg for some years. He was twice 
married, first in early youth to Amabel Grey, eldest daughter of 
Henry Grey, Duke of Kent. By her he had two children, 
Jemima, afterwards Marchioness Grey, who inherited her grand- 
father the Duke of Kent's estate, and a son, who died in infancy ; 
and secondly to the younger of the two daughters of the squire of 
Sugnall, in Staffordshire, who, subsequently, through the failure 
of male heirs, became co-heiress with her elder sister of the Sug- 
nall property. The son of this second marriage, the Lord Glen- 
orchy who died in 1771, eleven years before his father, was the 
husband of the pious Lady Glenorchy. The death of this Glen- 
orchy without surviving issue opened, in 1782, the succession to 
the titles and estates of Breadalbane to the son of the Carwhin, 
who is chaffed about his admiration of his new sword in one of our 
Lord Glenorchy's letters. 

Lord Glenorchy does not begin his correspondence with Bar- 
caldine until after the Prestonpans battle was fought. Apparently 
he came down from England after that event, to act for his 
father, the second Earl of Breadalbane, who was broken down by 
years and infirmities. Before his coming, John Campbell of Glen- 

1 Duncan, the brother of the writer, married Mary Macpheraon, sister of 
Sir James Macpheraon ; probably the reference is to her. Their sister, 
Margaret, married John Campbell of Danna, 

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The Big house Papers. H9 

lyon and John Menzies of Shian had made a bold, and not alto- 
gether unsuccessful attempt to raise the Breadalbane men for the 
Pretender, in spite of the old Earl, who was a douce Presbyterian 
Whig. Lord Glenorchy tells how he refused to see Glenlyon when 
he called on him at Tay mouth. The reason, which he does not 
give, was that Glenlyon and Shian had sent, in an incredibly 
short time, the fiery cross round Loch Tay in defiance of 
his father's prohibition ; and it was suspected with the 
connivance of old Achalader, the Chamberlain of Breadalbane, 
who pleaded sickness in excuse of seeming negligence or 
connivance. But, while the two audacious Jacobites were 
able to defy the Earl of Breadalbane, they were thwarted, 
in a manner on which they had little calculated, by the 
power of the Church. Mr Douglas, minister of Kenmore ; Mr 
James Stewart, minister of Killin ; and, still more fiercely, Mr 
Fergus Ferguson, minister of Fortingall, backed by their respective 
Sessions, worked mightily, in the midst of threatenings, wrath, 
and manifest dangers, to array their parishioners in defence of the 
Protestant constitutional monat-chy and civil and religious liberty. 
The Church had in the southern Highlands become by this time 
so powerful that lords, chiefs, and lairds found out they had lost 
most of the influence they possessed and unscrupulously exercised 
in 1715. But still the cry of Oighre dligheach a chruin was not 
without effect ; and so the fiery cross was not sent round Loch 
Tay altogether in vain. Some thirty young men of Glenlyon also 
broke off from their people to fight for the Prince, five of whom 
were killed at Culloden. The other 250 took up arms on the side 
of the Government when the new companies were formed. The 
strength was in the cause of hereditary descent, and not in Glen- 
lyon and Shian. Both of them were "wee lairdies" in embarrassed 
circumstances. Glenlyon, in 1745, had nothing of Glenlyon but 
the ancestral title. He possessed nothing but the small estate at 
the west end of Fortingall. Shian had nothing then but the four 
merkland of Western Shian in the Perthshire Glenquaich. The 
founder of his family was, strange to say, Mr William Menzies, 
minister of Kenmore, a stern Covenanter of the best type, who at 
his death, about 1658, left to his son John, the grandfather of the 
Jacobite, the four merkland of Western Shian, with half the 
village of Pittintrane, near Crieff, and some leasehold lands in 
Appin of Dull. 

Alexander Robertson of Struan, the poet Chief of Clan Don- 
nachaidh, John Campbell of Glenlyon, and John Campbell of 
Achalader were middle-aged men when they fought for the 
Stuarts at Sheriffmuir in the wing of Mar's army, which, as they 

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150 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

boasted, was not defeated. They were too old to take the field iir 
1745, but the first two worked hard to set the heather on fire, 
while the third got sick unto death. John Menzies of 
Shian was in the '15 rising also, but he was younger than 
the other three. Younger than all of these was James 
Menzies of Culdares, who was scarcely of age when captured 
with Mackintosh of Borlum's men at Preston. Struan, Glen- 
lyon, and Culdares went to France after the rebellion until 
they got pardoned ; and when he returned in 1718, Culdares, the 
wise young man, brought back with him the first specimens of 
larch plants ever seen in Britain from the Tyrol. He was, as 
Lord Glenorchy says, " too cunning" — too wise he should be 
called — to join openly in the 1745 rebellion, although he sent a 
gift horse, the each odhar, to the Prince, by John Macnaughton, a 
Glenlyon man, who was a watchmaker in Edinburgh, and who was 
afterwards executed at Carlisle for killing Colonel Gardiuer when 
he lay wounded on the field of Prestonpans. 

In " Waverley " Sir Walter Scott made Grandtully Castle, in 
Strathtay, the Tully-veolan of the Baron of Bradwardine, 
and Shian, in Glenquaich, the residence of the Highland 
Chief, Fergus Mac Ivor. He also introduced the real contem- 
porary Rannoch robber, Do'ull Ban Leathan, into the story as a 
Jacobite agent at times, which he truly was. We do not know 
that any John Mor, descendant of the minister of Kenmore, 
indulged in forays, or had a " Bodach Glas ; " but Archibald 
Menzies, the son of Shian, met, in the retreat from England, with 
Fergus Mac Ivor's misfortune. He was captured, but he could 
not have been executed at Carlisle, because he was one of the 
people specially excepted from the Act of Indemnity, and a true 
bill was found against him at Edinburgh, in ) 748. His father,. 
Colonel John Menzies of Shian, never returned from Cullodeu. 
It was said that he crossed the Nairn with the party that did not 
break up at once, that he was wounded, and that, having taken 
refuge iu some hut, he refused to surrender, and that after he had 
shot some of his besiegers, the others fired the hut, and that he 
thus, like an old Viking, perished unsubdued in the flames. 

NO. VI. 

Letter Lord Glenorchy, evidently to John C. of Barcaldine, 
but without address. It is docqueted "9th October, 1745. 
Letter Ld. Glenorchie." 

" Octr. 9th. 
"Sir, — I am very glad you interposed in preventing the 
curiosity of those Glenorchy people, who seemed fond of visiting 

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The Big house Papers. 151 

the sacks of the travellers, and that you extinguished the sparks 
which are beginning to appear. One Breadalbane man whom you 
mention in your letter to John is of the right stamp. I wish all 
the country thought as he does or pretends. 

" I have heard nothing of Ld. Seaforth and Sir Alexr., but 
that they and their men have been long talked of, but are pro- 
bably quiet at home. 

" Tis said the M'Phersons, with Cluny himself, are coming 
forward, and that they wait only to be join'd by Ld. Lovat's men. 
What makes this likely to be true is that Lady Cluny pass'd last 
Thursday for Edinr. But, on the other hand > the delaying so long 
makes it doubtful, and when Lovat hears of the troops being 
landed, he may probably change his note. Kinlochmudert's 
brother pass'd north two days ago, with 15 horses loaded with 
baggage, got probably since the battle. 1 The M'Kinnons were 
some days ago at Blair. The D. of At. was to go to-day with all 
his men to Dunkeld, and from thence to Edinr. 

" I'm glad the Person in whom you say you are nearly con- 
cerned resolves to be quiet. 

4< Inclosed are the last newspapers I've receiv'd. I believe the 
Troops design'd to come north may be at Edinr. before the end of 
this month. Mareshal Wade is to command in this expedition, 
and I believe Sr. Jo. Legoniere and Ld. Tyrawley are appointed to 
act as Lieutenant-Generals. — I am, yours, " G." 

Note. — "The Person " — Possibly Campbell of Keithock, whose 
sister was John Campbell of Barcaldine's wife. 


Letter Alexander Campbell to John Campbell of Barcaldine, Esq. 

"Octr. 11th, 1745. 
" Dr. Brother, — I have received your's wherein you desire that 
I tell Carwhin that his people are beginning to besturr themselves, 
and I have since heard that M'Dougald 2 is likewise turned light 
in the head. Wherefore I beg that you deal with him to stay at 
home if he has the least regard for his family, for there are 21,000 
regular forces march'd from London the 21st of Septr. against the 
Highlanders, of which 14 regiments from Flanders and our whole 
army are embark'd from Flanders. So you may see what a 
miserable plight these poor gentlemen that are engaged with the 
Prince are in. I believe we shall soon be oblig'd to march, which 

1 Battle, viz., Prestonpans, fought 20th September. 

2 M'Dougald of Dunolly. 

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152 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

I hope you'l keep a secret till I write you again. Your sord 
[sword] is out upon command, and I shall send it to you as soon 
as the command corns home, by express. Please make my com- 
pliments to my sisters and all the family at Tnverargan, and I 
always am, your loving broyr., 

"Alexr. Campbell." 
Note. — The writer was a lieutenant in Loudon's Highlanders, 
his commission dating from 8 June, 1745. Ewen Macpherson of 
Cluny was appointed a captain at the same time. 


Letter Lord Glenorchy, evidently to John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, but not addressed. Jt is docqueted " Taymouth, 
14 Octr., 1745. Letter Lord Glenorchie." 

"Taymouth, 14th Octr., 1745. 

" Sir, — I send you the inclosed papers, the written one is sent 
me from London. It is very odd to stir up the old story of 
Glencoe again, and it is thought by some in Edin. to be done with 
a particular view. 

"Ld. Monzie went suddenly last Friday into the Castle of 
Stirling, I don't know his reasons. I have had odd hints in letters 
from Edinr. I don't know but I may be soon at Armadie. This 
is the season of woodcocks. If I come there I'll let you know it. 

" 1 have heard nothing of the M'Phersons, M'Intoshes, or 
Frasers, only that the former were expected at Dunkeld last 
Saturday. If they were come I believe I should have been 
inform'd of it. 

" I'm told two gentlemen from the Isle of Skie pass'd lately 
thro Athol, who gave out they were going to Edinr. to settle the 
time and manner of Sir Alexr. and M'Leod's men joining the army; 
but that it was thought their intention was to see how matters 
stand before they form their resolution. 

" The blockade of the Castle 1 is taken off so that they have 
provisions at liberty. 

" Shian finds a great deal of difficulty in raising Struan 
Robertson's men again. About 130 soldiers taken at the Battle, 
who were committed to the care of Shian, and were listed by him, 
have escaped from his guard, and are gone into Stirling Ca^le. 

" A small ship (said to be a smuggler) came lately to Monross, 
and landed three gentlemen, one of whom is the Master of Strath- 
allan, with arms for about 500 men, and some money. — Yrs., 

" G ." 

1 Blair Castle. 

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NO. IX. 

Letter Lord Glenorchy, evidently to John Campbell of Barcal- 
dine. Docqueted "Achmore, 25th October, 1745. Letter 
Ld. Glenorchie." 

" Auchmore, 25th October, 

" Sir, — I send you (as yon desired) the following parts of the 
-Glencoe affair described in the newspapers. 

" I can see no reason for the alarm sent me from Edn. Ld. 
"M. had some intelligence of an attempt to be made upon his 
person, upon which he went to the Town of Stirling (not the 
Castle, as I first heard), from whence he rides about in the 
neighbourhood. His House has been since search'd for arms and 
Horses. Of the former they found only one gun, belonging to 
Lachlan, which they took away ; and of the latter they found 
none for their purpose, the Ly. (Lady) having sent- them all away 
before. When the Troops in Perthshire march, I believe he will 
come home again. 

" All who pass the Bridge of Tay say the Isle of Skie men and 
the Frasers are coming forward, but this has been so often said 
that I shall not easily believe it. Young Cluny brought the 
McPhersons into Athole about 8 day? ago, and went himself back 
to fetch more, which makes some think he will stay at home to 
avoid future consequences; about 200 of his men have been in 
Glenlyon forcing Culdares' men to rise, who refused it, unless their 
master went with him, but he is too cunning to expose himself, 
and has prevailed on Duncan Duneaves' brother to head them, 
with whom they went yesterday willingly. Shian 1 has at length, 
with the assistance of the McPhersons, forced out the Appin of 
Dol men, much against their will, and yesterday they all march'd, 

" The Athole men were not march'd two days ago, but intended 
it very soon, the D. being at Perth receiving some cannon, 
ammunition, and money, landed somewhere near Peterhead in a 
second ship from France, and I'm told a third ship is also landed, 
but I did not hear where. 

"Eight regiments last order'd from Flanders landed on the 
11th inst. at Newcastle, and arrived the Monday following at 
Berwick. The army coming by land from the South consists of 
8000 men, who were, on the 15th, at Doncaster, Yorkshire, and 
must be at or near Berwick now. There will be at least 14,000 
men, besides the Dutch, who are commanded by Counts Nassau 
and Schwartzenburg. I don't know their number, having heard 

1 Sbian t John Menzies of Shian. 

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154 Gaelic Society of /nuetness. 

only of 3000 being landed, but I suppose the rest are also arrived^ 
Marshall Wade, with the Generals Weutworth and Halke, and 
Brigadier Churaley, command the British. 

" I don't at present think of going further west ; when I do^ 
I'll acquaint you with it. 

"Achalader is in* a very bad state of health, very much alter'd 
since you saw hiui ; he has not breath to walk, and hardly to 
speak without difficulty. When I came here he came iX * chaise, 
not being able to ride. 

" I wonder several who went North to bring up their men are 
not yet return'd, particularly Ludovick Cameron and Barrisdale. 
I think they have not much time to loose. — Adieu. Yrs., 

"G . 

"Mr Drummond (Lord Strathallan's brother) my Banker at 
London, is broke, with £700 of my money in his hands, which was 
remitted to him out of Staffordshire just two days before he broke. 
This loss, added to the difficulty of getting rents this year, will be 
very inconvenient to me. If you know any body who can let me 
have four or five hundred «£ on my Bond, I wish you could pro- 
cure it ; the Interest shall be regularly paid and the Principal 
when demanded." 

Note. — Auchmore, near Kill in, was occupied for ninety years 
by the two Achaladers, father and son, Chamberlains of Breadal- 
bane. Both were called "John." The "Young John" mentioned 
by Lord Glenorchy in his letter of 11th November, was old 
Achalader's son and successor. 

no. x. 

Letter from Allan Campbell, an ensign in Lord John Murray's 
(afterwards the 42nd) or the Highland Regiment, to John 
Campbell of Barcaldine. This letter is so addressed and 
docqueted: "Perth, 26 Octr., 1745. Letter Allan Camp- 

" Dr. Brother, —This is to aquent you that I am in health and 
still a Prisoner on Parole; we have the liberty of the town of 
Perth and two miles round it ; we pass our time very agreeably, 
their bding about fifty of us Prisoners and a great many of them 
very pretty gentlemen. 

" I never was so idle, having nothing to do but sleep, dress, 
and walk. I believe such a life would agree very well with my 
Brother Duncan. 

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"Please tell Mrs Campbell at Drimouick that her Brother 
Archy is in very good health, who is a very honest, pretty fellow. 

"I have no news but that thar was a great many smal arms 
and six pieces of cannon that came from France pass'd throw this 
town last day, under ye care of the Duke of Athole's people and ; 
some Irish men that were in ye French service, about 20 in 
number, for ye Prince's use. Make my compliments to all friends 
in ye Country, and to my sister in particular, and I ever am, Dr. 
Br., your affec. and lov. Br. " Allan Campbell. 

"Perth, 26th October, 1745." 

Note. — Allan Campbell, with his Captain, Sir Patrick Murray, 
and Lieut. James Farquharson, yr. of Invercauld, was at the 
Battle of Prestonpans, and the whole Company were either killed 
or taken prisoners. See Gen. Stewart of Garth. His Commissions 
were — -Ensign, 25th December, 1744 ; Lieutenant, 1st December, 
1746; Captain, 13th May, 1755; Major, 15th August, 1762; 
removed to half-pay 1763; brought in on full pay to 36th; 
and died a Lieut. -General in 1795. 

NO. XI. 

Letter from Colin Campbell (evidently Sheriff of Argyle), 
to John Campbell of Barcaldine. It is docqueted 
" Inverary, 10th Nov. Letter Colin Campbell." 

" Dr. Br. — -The Duke of Argyle has at last given his orders to 
raise the Militia. Such of the Deputy- Lieutenants as came got 
their Commissions, and have by a sederuut of yesterday's date 
appointed intimations to be sent to the several Parishes to have 
on (I one) man on the twenty shilling land ready to come when 
called for. 

" General Campbell is coming down from Liverpool, with arms 
and provisions, to head them ; and, as soon as he arrives, the 
Militia will be called here. It's by the cess note the Militia is to 
be levied. Glengyle came down thorow Cowal beginning of this 
week, as it's thought to cover the rising of some men, which 
alarmed this town, and occasioned the calling in all the Militia 
hereabouts. He was last night at Duncan Brecks upon his return. 
I believe there is a party to march this day of 150 men to inter- 
cept him at the head of Lochgyle, but I reckon he'll endeavour to 
give them the slip. The Edin. post has not come in yet. Airds 
will give you all their news by the post, and, if I have anything 
worth, I'll write you from Glenorchy, where I go to day to con- 
cert about the Militia of that Countrey. I leave it to you to name 
the officers of your own and my Lord Breadalbane r s men in the 

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Parish of Ardchattan. I think John Auchnaba would do very 
well to be Captain over them. In my opinion, wee should make 
the best show wee can, and march in all my Lord Breadalbanc's 
men in a body, and order them all to meet at Clathaik ; but of 
this wee have time enough to think, and probably I may see you 
before they may be called, to concert some generall plan to 
follow. The Highland army marcht from Edinr., as it's said, for 
England, and accounts came in last night by express from 
Glasgow that they returned back again. — I am, Dr. Sr., yours, 

" Co. Campbell." 
Note — General Campbell. General John Campbell of Mamore, 
afterwards Duke of Argyle. 


Letter Lord Glenorchy, evidently to John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, docqueted " Tay mouth, 11th November, 1745; 
Letter Ld. Glenorchie." 

"Tay mouth, 11th November, 1745. 
" Sir, — 1 received n letter yesterday from the Sheriff, dated 
the 4th, which had, I suppose lain so long by the neglect of the 
officer thro whose hands it came. He informs me that he has 
received orders for raising the Militia, and that he expected 
General Campbell there soon, wind and weather serving, which 
was likewise writt to me from London a fortnight ago. 

" When the Militia is rais'd, all in my estate must be on the 
same footing with the rest, of the shire, and I hope my friends 
who are to command them will qualifye as the Law directs, 
especially if the D. of A.'s friends do it. 

" A distinction would look extremely ill, and might be very 
hurtfull +o my interest at this time. 

" T have not heard from Edin. nor London for a long time. An 
Express whom I sent ten days ago is not yet returned. I heard 
accidentally from Sterling that as the man was going into Edn , 
he was heartily beat by some mob, because he had the appearance 
of a Highlander, tho' very little of the garb. So much was the 
face of affairs changed at Edn. since the army left it on the last 
day of October and the first of this month. 

" Great numbers of Highlanders pass to the North, 20 and 30 
in a body. Above 150 have pass'd lately thro this countrey. 
Some of them give out that they are sent back to form a Body of 
observation in the North, others say they have leave to return 
to take care of their own countrey, but 'tis most probable they 

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have neither orders nor leave. They are all well arm'd, some 

" 'Tis now pretty certain that none from the Isle of Sky are to- 
stir. The Frasers have been long talk'd of, and preparations have 
been made for them on the road, but if they had set out when it 
was reported, they must have pass'd long ago : about 140 of Glen- 
garie's men pass'd ten days ago southward, and about 200 
M'Intoshes and M'llcvrays from the Braes of Mar pass'd lately. 

" A deserter yesterday said he left the army at Moffat, and 
that they were marching the West road in 3 columns. 

" Old Glenlyon came here yesterday. I sent to tell him to go 
away immediately. He was in a chaise. Young John ask'd him 
some questions, but he could answer nothing ; nor did he know 
which road the army had taken. 

"A disturbance at Perth has maie a good deal of noise, 
occasion'd by some people of the town assembling to celebrate the 
30th of October, and one man of the town was kill'd, and one 
Frenchman who came over in one of the small ships with arms. 

" The Sheriff writes to me that he had a letter from Berwick 
telling that Mareshall Wade was at Newcastle with 16,000 men, 
where he was to make a halt, and would be at Berwick on the 7th, 
and that more Forces were landed in the Thames from Flanders, 
Horse, Foot, and Dragoons. I suppose Wade will cross the 
Coxintrey to meet the Highlanders. There is not a word true of 
any landing from France or Spain. 

" A gentleman from Edr. tells me that Sr. Watkin Williams 
Wyn has subscribed a large sum of money jointly with other 
gentlemen, who are known friends to the Government, for raising 
of Troops. Adieu. Yrs., " G . 

" Achalader continues much the same, too weak to go thro his 
accounts, or to mind much business. 

"My letters are this moment come from Edr. Tis certain 
that Wade had 11,000 men with him in Yorkshire, besides 4000 
more in other parts of the County, and that 30 ships were come 
into Newcastle with Forces from Flanders. 

" The Edr. Mercury mentions a Proclamation by Wade that, 
whereas several people have been seduced into the Kebellion, 
whoever returns home before the 11th of this month shall not be 
molested, upon which 500 had pass'd northward thro Kilsyth one 
day, and 300 the next day. 

" I hear there is great unanimity and high spirits in London 
being no ways apprehensive of an Invasion." 

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158 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy, evidently to John Campbell of 
Barcaldiue, docqueted "Tayrnouth 3rd Deeemr. 1745 — 
Letter Lord Glenorchie." 

"Taymouth 3rd Deer. 1745. 

" Sir, — I have received yours of the 27th past with the names 
of the officers of the Militia. I suppose Carwhin was so taken up 
with trying on his Broad sword that he forgot to send their names 
to me. 1 think they are very well chosen, and I daresay the 
young nameless Ensign from Dalfour won't degenerate from the 
behaviour of his ancestors. I'm glad you are in a way of getting 
quit of your gout, and that you'll soon appear at Inveraray. I'm 
very glad McDougal judges so right, but Appin's conduct sur- 
prises me a little. 

" The Sheriff writes to me that he is inforni'd Glenoe is in a 
treaty with Glencoe, and hopes I will put a stop to it. I desire 
you by all means to prevent anything of that kind, and you may 
tell Glenoe that instead of expectiug my friendship I shall be the 
greatest enemy he has in the world if he should affront me by 
breaking his promise to me, and no man with half a grain of sense 
will engage on that side as matters now stand with them. 

"I don't think there is any reason for blaming the Forces in 
England for letting the Highland Army advance so far, nor do I 
think their getting Carlisle of any conseqnence to them. I have 
been very often there, it being my road from Sugnall, and I know 
it to be of no force, the Fortifications being ruinous, and only 500 
men of Invalids hardly able to carry a musket which is call'd a 
garrison. Upon this occasion indeed part of the Militia of the 
County was in the Town, and one Durand (who I suppose is an 
officer sent thither for the present) declares that he would have 
held it ten days against the whole highland army if the Inhabi- 
tants had not obliged him to capitulate for fear of being plundered, 
but I don't believe him. 

"Lochiel was sent back with a detachment to demand the 
baggage which they had left at Lockerby and which was taken 
by the men of Dumfries, but before he reached Dumfries he was 
recalTd to the army. Marshal Wade came from Newcastle (where 
lie had staid so long in order to see which way the Highlanders 
should take) but was stop'd by the snow when he was about 25 
miles from Carlisle, and hearing that their army was advancing 
towards Lancashire he would loose no more time by waiting for a 
change of weather but return'd to Newcastle and took the Great 

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Hoad (tho' round about) which leads into Lancashire in order to 
follow them. Sir John Ligonier's army was within 50 miles of the 
Highlanders and superiour in number to them, for I don't think 
"there can possibly be above 3000 real Highlanders, considering 
the great desertion, and those at Perth and that neighbourhood, 
which amount to 16 or 1700 men ; and I'm told those in England 
were joyn'd in the South of Scotland only by 2000 men at most. 

" I saw a letter from one in their army at Carlisle who owns 
that none have joyn'd them there but a very few of the lowest of 
the people. If they should happen to push through Ligonier's 
-army, they will meet a third army composed of the best troops in 
England, and I do assure you that the very name of a Highlander 
is detested by the people all over England. 

" I have a letter from Col. Campbell inclosing a copy of one 
from the General to him, in which he desires him to advise with 
me about the officers for 8 Independent Companies, in which he 
says the men must be listed regularly for a year certain or to the 
^nd of the Rebellion. He does not say on what footing the 
officers are to be afterwards, whether they are to keep their ranks 
and to have half-pay, but to be sure they will be upon the same 
footing as those Companies rais'd in the North. I have recom- 
mended you and McDougall for each a Company in order that 
my friends may not take the Lord's name in vain. Tell 
McDougall of it, and let me know immediately if you or he have 
any objections to it, for I find the Genl. expects to have those 
•Companies compleated as soon as possible without waiting for him. 
•Send me a List of some gentlemen proper to be Lieutenants and 
Ensigns in those Companies. 

" 'Tis said by all hands that McLeod has joyn'd Lord Loudon 
with 430 men, and that his Lds. has 1400 men with him. 

" Ld. John Drummond landed last week at Montrose ; as soon 
as the news of it was spread about the Guns of Down Castle were 
fired, and 'twas given out that he has brought 8000 men with 
him. The accounts from Perth call them 800, and other accounts 
bring them down to 400 and 100, so that they are probably few 
and Irish. 

" The Laird of McLachlin, or as some say one Capt. McLachlin, 
went lately thro Strathern from Carlisle to Perth. The cause of 
his coming back is not yet known, some imagine 'tis to bring tho&e 
men after the army. • He was attended by 20 Hussars of the 
Carlisle edition that is Angus men with Fur Bonnets. 

" The Second Barrisdale was (I'm told) some days ago alone at 
Dalnakerdoch, I suppose he went to Perth. — Adieu, yrs. 

" Glenorchy. 

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160 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

"I hear nothing of the Frasers, 100 of them came some time 
ago to Perth, about 120 M'Leods of Rasa are there, Ld. Cromartie 
has 200 McKenzies, Ludovick Cameron is there with the Camerons 
who came thro Glendochart as also Stewarts and Gleneo's men. 
There are Farquharsons and M'Intoshes there and some of Glen- 
garie's men. 

" This goes by an express to Armadie who leaves it with the 
officer of Glenorchy, you may send your answer back, which will 
be taken up there by the man on his return from Armadie." 

Note. — The young nameless Ensign from Dalfour, probably 
Barcaldine's son Alexander, who joined the Argyleshire Militia as 
a Volunteer at the age of 16 about this time. Dalfour is near the 
present mansion-house of Barcaldine. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy to John Campbell of Barcaldine, 
docqueted "Taymouth 6 Deer. 1745 — Letter Lord Glen- 

"Taymouth, 6th December, 1745. 

" Sir, — I received this afternoon yours by the Bearer, and I 
suppose you've seen before now by my last that as soon as I got 
the account from Inverary I thought of you. I'm glad I prevented 
your writing to me about it, and I suppose there can be no diffi- 
culty in it. 

" I hear from London that the Duke of Cumberland is gone to 
command the army which Sir John Ligonier was to have com- 
manded, but he was taken suddenly ill, however he is recovered sut nut with the Duke. The army consists of about 9000 men 
of old Regiments, most of them come from Flanders, and 3000 of 
new Regiments, Two Battalions of the Guards from Flanders 
are with them, and all our Troops are now com 3 over. Their only 
apprehension at London is that the Highlanders will get into 
Wales and escape them for some time. 

" A French atrip is taken by one of our men of war and carried 
into Deal, near Dover, having above 60 officers aboard, and 'tis 
thought P. Henry is with them. Ld. Derwentwater is in that ship 
and Kelly j and it was talk'd at London that Adml. Martin had 
destroyed the whole fleet that was coming over, but this perhaps 
is not true. Another of our ships has taken a Frenchman and 
carried him into Dover but it is not known how many men were 
aboard, and a rhird ship is carried into Leith with about 130 men* 
There were arms and ammunition in all of them. 

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" It is reported at Perth that Adml. Bing's ship was seen off 
Montrose in chace of three French ships very near them. 

"Ld. Jo. Drummond has about 140 men with him. There are 
at Perth in all near 2000 men. Several Frasers pass'd lately 
towards Perth. 

" Loudon is said certainly to have with him 400 M'Leods, 100 
Grants, 100 Guns, 100 Munroes, 100 M'Kays, 100 Sutherlands, 
Capt. Sutherland's Company com pleat, about 40 of Major 
M'Kenzie's Company and as many of Ld. Chs. Gordon's Company, 
and two Companies of Guise's Regiment. 

" Your Brother Allan is just come In here on leave for some 
time. — Adieu, yrs. (Sd.) ■ " Glenorchy. 

"I've sent two English and two Scots News papers to 
Achalader to read and desired him to send them forward to you. 
Tis the Laird of M'Lachlin that is come to Perth but his errand 
is not known. Achalader is a good deal better. 

" The Highlanders were counted at two Bridges in England, 
and were a little above 6000 men. They have been joyn'd by none 
since they enter'd England." 

Notes. — Prince Henry. Not long after the arrival of Lord 
John Drummond at Montrose with his own regiment and other 
troops from France, it was intended to send another expedition, 
which was to land on the English coast, and that Henry, Duke of 
York, should accompany it ; but apparently before the necessary 
arrangements were completed, Prince. Charlie commenced his 
retreat from Derby, and the plan was not executed. 

Lord Charles Gordon, 2nd son of the Duke of Gordon, 
commanded a Company in Lord Loudon's regiment. 

NO. xv. 

Letter from Lieut. Alexander Campbell 1 to his brother, John 
Campbell of Barcaldine, docqueted "Corregyle 2 6 Deer. 
1745. Letter Alexr. Campbell," and addressed "to John 
Campbell of Barcaldine Esq." 

" Corregile Deer. 6th 1745. 
" Dr. Broyr.,^This morning I was ashured that Barisdle with 
700 men are to be in the Breas of this country this night with 
what Intent I cannot tell, but it is belived with an intent to pay 

1 Alexr. Campbell and Colin Campbell, Glenure, brothers of John of Bar- 
caldine, and their cousin, Patrick, son of Achalader, were all Lieuts. in Loudon'* 

2 Corryghoil is in Glenorchy, about 4 miles east of Dalmally. 


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a visit to Inverary : we are likewise told that there are two 
thousand to com from Perth to join him and to come in a body 
into this Shire Please receive by the Bearer a trunk with all the 
Papers I have within it, which I hope you'l take the same care of 
as you'l do of your own Papers if the Rebels begin to Plunder the 
Shire (which you'l soon be informed of) I think you should put 
your Castle 1 in a pouster of Defence without loss of time and put 
in all your own and friends most valuable things. I talk as if 
•you was in perfect health tho' I know the contrary but I hope 
you'l not neglect to cause Do it, and the sooner the Better. 
Please make my complements to my sister and family and I ever 
am yours till death. " Albxr. Campbell." 

no. XVI. 

Letter from Lord Glenorchy to John Campbell of Barcaldiue, 
docqueted " Taymouth 15th December 1745 — Letter Ld. 

"Taymouth 15th Deer. 1745. 

"Sir, — If I wrote to you that Genl. Campbell expected the 
Companies should be compleated before his arrival I certainly 
exceeded my own Intention, for I only meant that I wrote 
pressingly about them and hoped they would be pretty far 
advanced by the time he came. Your objections to so much haste 
are very obvious, and what I can give no answer to, for (as I 
believe I mentioned before) I know nothing about the establish- 
ment of them, no more does Colonel Campbell till his father's 
arrival who brings blank Commissions with him, and will certainly 
be desirous of raising the Companies as fast as possible. 

" I will have regard to the persons included in your list as far 
I can, but I am not sure if they will not exceed my property if 
there are but three officers to a Company, for I have already 
recommended Archibald Glenfalloch's Uncle, Jo. Campbell Ach- 
naba's nephew now carrying arms in Sr. Pat. Murray's Company 
and gleid Duncan to be Lieutenants, I will certainly insist on 
young Achnaba, 2 and procure him to be your Lieut., if no objec- 
tion starts up to it (I mean as to being in that Company) which I 
don't at all foresee. You say it will be difficult and take high 
bribing to get men to list for a year or to the end of the Rebellion. 

1 Barcaldine Castle, at the entrance of Loch Creran. 

3 John Campbell, younger of Achnaba, got a Commission, and received a 
wound at Culloden, of which he died two days afterwards, and was buried in 

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The Bighouse Papers. 163 

I can't see wherein this difficulty lies, for I think it would be 
easier to get men to enlist for a certain time for nothing, than to 
engage for life in the common way for a considerable sum of 

" McDougall desires to know how many men each Company is 
to consist of, what Levy money is to be allowed, what time will 
be given for raising the Companies, and if the Officers are to have 
half-pay when disbanded. He says 'tis necessary for him to know 
these things, otherwise he may plunge himself into an affair that 
may quite disconcert his present way of living if the Commissions 
should be of short duration. These are questions certainly very 
proper for him to ask, but impossible for me to answer at present, 
as I have writt to him. He likewise desires if he has a Company, 
that he and his friends may be freed from the Militia, which is 
not in my power to grant, and wishes to know his subalterns, of 
which I cannot inform him, and desires to have Creganich for his 
Lieut, if I am not pre-engaged. My inclosed answer contains that 
as I am desirous of serving him and his family, I thought this 
might be an opportunity of doing it, but that I can't answer any 
one of his questions because I don't know what footing these 
Companies are to be on. That if he apprehends such a Commis- 
sion will not answer the end I propose, which is serving his family, 
he is not in the least bound by what I have done, and as the Com- 
panies will certainly not be of long duration very possibly it may 
not suit his affairs, in which case I shall be very willing to procure 
him any Benefit 1 can some other way. This is the contents of 
my letter to him, but I'll tell you that I have been very lately 
inform'd that some difficulties may be thrown in his way at 
Inveraray, I suppose for private reasons. The Lieuft. Col. in 
auswer to my letter naming you and McDougall for Captains, 
Duncan, Archibald and John for Lieuts., only says that he will 
communicate my letter to his father on his arrival, and that my 
recommendation will have weight with him. 

" If you apprehend M'Dougall may be objected to, I should 
really think it better to drop it than to start a difficulty of this 
kind, since he does not appear extremely keen in it himself, and 
very possibly it may not suit with his other affairs. I suppose 
his desire of being freed from the Militia is in order to put those 
same men in his Company, but I doubt if he can be exempted 
from the Service of the Militia. 1 would not mention anything to 
him of this difficulty, which I did not in the least imagine at first, 
and possibly may yet be nothing, but if there is any probability 
of it I really think you would do right to put him off it. 

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164 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" Five hundred Frasers are gone lately to Perth as I'm 
informed, and I hear they make the number about 2000, and that 
there are about 1500 Irish landed in different parts. Old Looheil 
came over with Ld. Jo Drummond. 

" I'm told they are cutting a deep broad ditch round the town 
of Perth and intend to put cannon on it when they can get them 
over the River, but the boats are too small for them. All the 
Country about will be ruin'd, they plunder terribly, and have 
kiird some farmers who would have defended their Houses. 

" I expect a man from Edinr. daily. Ill send you the News- 
papers. By the last accounts the highland army was at Man- 
chester at the south end of Lancashire, a most populous City 
where are great manufactures, and yet they could get but 100 
men to whom they were forced to pay 6 guins. each. And tho' 
Lancashire is always reckoned the most Jacobite County in 
England they have not been joyn'd by one man. The Duke of 
Cumberland's army consisting of 9000 men from Flanders and 
3000 new raised, were about 30 miles from them, but the High- 
landers by going to Manchester turn d out of the direct ftoad to 
them as if they would avoid them. Marshal Wade was marching 
back southward slowly. I believe a part of his army will be sent 
to Scotland. — Adieu, yrs. " G •— ." 

Note. — The General Campbell referred to is the Hon. John 
Campbell of Mamore, afterwards 4th Duke of Argyll ; his son 
Col. C. was afterwards 5th Duke. The General arrived at Inver- 
aray on 21st December to command the troops and garrisons in 
the west of Scotland. 

M'Dougail. — Alex. M'D. of Dun oily who was married to Mary, 
sister to John C. of Barcaldine, and was restored to his father's 
estate, which had been forfeited after 1715, by charter from the 
Duke of Argyle in 1745. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy to John Campbell of Barcaldine 
docqueted " Taymouth 18th Deer. 1745 — Letter Ld. 

"Taymouth 18th Deer. 1745. 
" Sir, — I wrote to you in my letter that I had a hint given me 
of some objections that would be made to a friend of yours. I 
have heard nothing further about it nor can I till the General's 
arrival. But if there is any grounds to expect objecting, it would 
be mnch better for him to decline it of himself. 

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The Big house Papers. 165 

" I've sent two news papers to Achalader who is to send them 
forward when he has read them. 'Che Highland army is trying to 
avoid the Duke of Cumberland, which looks ill for them. They 
were pass'd all Lancashire^ which is the most Jacobite shire in 
England, and were join'd by none but a very few Rabble. They 
attempted to go to Wales but a part of the Duke's army got 
before them, and he himself began his march towards them with 
the rest of his army at eleven o'clock at night. They afterwards 
turn'd short to the East which obliged him to march back, and 
they were about 17 or 20 miles asunder, each within 70 miles of 
London. I think their game was to attack him directly, but 
probably they think him too strong. If they should march faster 
than he and go to London, they will find an army there to enter- 
tain them till the Duke comes up which must be in some hours 
after them. 

" There were 22 officers taken in the French ship which the 
Sheerness man of war took, and with them is Ld. Derwentwater 
whose Brother was beheaded in the 1715. Sixteen officers were 
taken in the ship brought into Leith besides several Serjeants ana 
private men in both : all of them Scots and Irish. 

" Im told 400 Frasers are come to Perth, and that they are 
casting a ditch round Oliver's Citadel on the South Inch, where 
they intend to put Cannon. 

" I've heard from Fort William that Lord Loudoun came from 
Inverness to Fort Augustus with 600 men, and staid there some 
days, and that he has 1300 men at Inverness. 

" A man who left Perth last night tells me that 1000 men 
with 8 Field Pieces march'd yesterday from thence towards Crief. 
They gave out they were going to Sterling, but the smallness of 
the Cannon is a proof they don't intend anything there. — I amyrs. 

"G ." 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy to John Campbell of Barcaldine, 
docqueted " Taymouth, 19th Deer. 1745 — Letter Lord 

"Taymouth 19th Deer. 1745. 
" Sir, — I wrote to you last night and sent you two newspapers 
and acquainted you with what I heard of affairs. But I have just 
now received accounts of much greater importance. An express 
came yesterday to Genl. Blakeney at Sterling from Genl. Guest 
informing him that the Highland army after retreating very fast 
was overtaken by the Duke of Cumberland near Lancaster on the 

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166 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

13th or 14th, where after a smart action they were r orced to fly 
into the town of Lancaster, and were immediately surrounded by 
the Duke's army ; and that the P. and the D of Perth had escaped 
with 100 Light Horse, and all the country was up in pursuit of 

" The Town of Lancaster is open on all sides, So that I don't 
see how any can escape, unless some could have time to pass the 
Bridge on the North side of it, and to break it down, but I don't 
imagine the Duke will give them an opportunity of that. 

" Lancashire is fatal to the Highlanders. I have just now 
heard that part of that body which went from Perth on Tuesday 
came that night to Crief and march 'd yesterday towards Down. 
The rest came last night to Crief and tollow'd them this day. — I 
am, yrs., " G . 

" Upon recollection I think it very possible that my author 
from Sterling (who saw Blakeney's letter) may have mistaken 
the name, and that 'tis Manchester not Lancaster. This would 
make no difference, only that the further south the harder for any 
to escape." 

Note. — Lord Glenorchy's iuformant was right: the Highlanders 
were at Lancaster on the 13th and 14th, and marched for Kendal 
on the 15th : as they left the town some of the English horse 
entered it, and followed the Highland army for two or three miles, 
but no engagement took place. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy to John Campbell of Barcaldine, 
docqueted "Taymouth, 26th Deer. 1745. — Letter Lord 

"Taymouth, 26th Deer. 1745. 
" Sir, — I received this day yours of the 22nd, to which I have 
nothing to answer. I suppose Genl. Campbell did not arrive at 
In vera my so soon as was expected after his landing at Camp- 
bell town, otherwise I should have heard it by a man whom I sent 
there last week, and is (I suppose) detain'd by the Sheriff till his 

" I intend to be at Inveraray next Wednesday, and wish you 
could meet me there or soon after. I have sent three newspapers 
to AehuLuler, w r ho is to forward them to you. There does not 
seem to have been any battle at Lancaster. The Highlanders, 
indeed, ran away and very fast before the Duke's army, and I'm 
told in a letter :hat the men ran and the Baggage horses gallop'd. 

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The Bighouse Papers. 167 

By their extortions, contributions, and other severities (besides 
gathering Taxes), it seems as if they never intended to return into 
those counties, where the name of a Highlander is now become 
odious. I believe they were incensed at not being join'd by any 
but a few common fellows to whom they gave great Levy money, 
tho' the counties of Lancaster and Stafford are reckon'd the two 
most Jacobite Counties in England. In Staffordshire the people 
would take no payment for their Horses and Carriages with the 
Duke's army, and they lodged all his men gratis. The Duke of 
Devonshire has raised 600 men, and pays them all himself, he 
won't take any money for it from the Government. His family 
has always been distinguished Whigs, but 'tis a great deal for any 
subject to do. 

" I doubt if the Duke's Horse can come from Carlisle for want 
of forage. If it is possible lie will continue to follow them, for he 
has shown so much activity aod judgment in always crossing 
between the Highlanders and London, and in pursuing so fast 
without overfatiguing his Troops, that he is so beloved by them 
they will go through any dangers with him cheerfully. 

" [ hear the Highlanders march'd 30 miles some days, and 
once 35 miles. I should think many of them would desert as 
soon as they can. I suppose part of Wade's army will be im- 
mediately in Scotland. 

'" At Kdinr. all is confusion. The Banks are carried up to the 
Castle, and people are leaving the Town again. 

" The House of Commons have address'd the King, desiring 
him to order the Provost of Edinr. to be continued in custody. — 
Adieu, yrs., " G." 

NO. XX. 

Letter from Lieut. Alexr. Campbell to John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, his brother, docqueted "Aberdeen 18 April 1746, 
Letter Alexr. Campbell " ; and addressed " John Campbell, 
Esq. of Barcaldine at Dal four." 

"Aberdeen, Aprile 18th 1746. 
" Dear Brother, —I received yours this Day afternoon and I 
understand by it that you did not receive the Letter that 
Auchuaba wrote giving a distinct account of my misfortune. The 
bearer of it was John McCintyre once gardener at Clifton. He 
sett o i it from this upon the tenth current. 

" But as I understand that that account is not come to your 
hand I shall give you a distinct narration of my misfortunes, which 
is as follows, Upon the ninet enth of the last month I was ordered 

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168 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

by Coll. Campbell out with a party of Sixty foot and thirty Light 
Horse from Strathbogie to Keith, which is six miles distance, in 
order to intercept some of the Rebell Hussars : my subalterns 
were Ardslignish and Petty Ardchattan, Robie Balivolan was 
volunteer along with me and severall other young gentlemen, we 
stayed at Keith all that Day and I myself with twenty of the 
Light Horse rode out from Keith untill we came within half a 
mile of Foccabirse and Reconitred the enemy's camp on Speyside 
and all the Intelligence I could get the Enemy had crossed Spey 
that evening to their camp, whereupon 1 cam back to Keith and 
ordered the half of my party both horse and foot to mount guard 
and made Ardslignish Captain of the Guard and ordered the other 
half of the foot to ly in their Cloaths and arms in the Church 
beside him : and he and I both planted the Centuries in the most 
convenient parts from the town to the number of nine or ten, this 
far I have given you a History of my Management in vindication 
of my conduct, I sate up till near one in the morning at which 
time I thre\\ myself upon a bed in ray cloaths and arms and just 
as I was falling asleep I heard firing begun at our Guard House 
door which was within the Churchyeard. 1 ran out of the house 
and gott down to the Church stile, when I observed the whole 
Churchyeard filled with the Enemy, but luckily their backs was 
upon me. I drew my ^word and rushed thro' them untill I gott 
to the Guard house. They fired severall shots at me as I passed 
but missed me. When I came to the Guard house I found every- 
thing in disorder, four of the men killed, the Captain wounded and 
what remained of the men in the house quite inactive in their 
duty. I told Ardslignish that the only chance left us now for our 
Lives and Reputation was to make a brisk attempt to gett thro' 
the enemy back again which He agreed to, we both Rushed out of 
the house but could not make our post good. He was immediately 
taken Prisoner upon his getting out of the Door, I stood longer to 
my defence tho' I was frequently offered Quarters and my Reason 
for not taking quarters v as that I was almost sure that I would 
be cutt to pieces after being taken Prisoner which was at last my 
fate, for a fellow came behind me with a clubbed firelock and 
knocked me down, and then they slashed at me till they left me 
in the miserable pickle I am now in ; for I gott no cutt while I 
was standing except one across the Face and Nose. After I was 
flatt upon the ground I gott a wound in the head, one in the right 
shoulder, and a very bad one in the left wrest which is the one 
now confines me to my bed, all the rest of my wounds are in a 
very good way and almost whole. The cloaths I had on will yet 

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The Big house Papers. 169 

show how many wounds were designed for tne, tho' the number of 
hands that were striking at me at the same time hindred their 
blows from being so deadly as they would have been was there but 
one striking at me and in the above situation did they leave me 
for dead on the ground but Returning in a little they found that 
I was not quite dead, whereupon they sett me upon horseback in 
order to carry me away to their camp but after they had carried 
me about a mile off they again threw me off on the ground for 
dead and there left me. 

" After they were away about twenty minutes 1 gott up and 
wandred for about a mile till I perchance lighted upon a farm 
house which I went into but the people of the house observing how 
I was, ran out of the house and left it to myself, whereupon I left 
the house and went into another house in the same Village, the 
People of the house left me the same way as the former, but there 
was a good fire in the house, and I laid myself down at full length 
by the side of it which comforted me much, as I was quite chilled 
with icold and faint with loss of blood. The Landlord was not in 
the house when I came to it, came in then and seid the miserable 
situation I was in wallowing in my blood by the fireside, He gott 
water and washed my wounds and Immediately called a Surgeon 
who dressed my wounds, all the above happened before daylight, 
the enemy's numbers that attacked us by the best Information I 
could gett afterwards were about six or seven hundred, so far you 
have a distinct history of my misfortunes. Our own people came 
by ten a cloak that same day with a Surgeon and gott me aright 
dressed, In spite of all the care could be taken of me 1 was obliged 
to stay for eight days in the Farmer's house before I w T as fit for 
being carried upon a Litter for Strathbogie, when the Army 
marched from Strathbogie I was sent here upon a horse Litter 
where I now ly. God knows if ever I rise for I am in a weak 

"I wish from my heart that it was possible that Sandy 
Campbell, Auchnaba's Brother, could come here, was he but to 
stay for two nights, there are three Rideing horses of my own, 
and a servant lying idle in Glenorchy and horse ffurniture conform 
which he might take the use of for the greater expedition, this is 
ail I have to desire of you at the present which if you can agree 
to will give me vast ease of Body and mind. Please make my 
complements to my Sister and the rest of your ffamily when you 
write them and I ever remain Your Lov. Brother 

"Alex. Campbell." 

Note. — The writer was a Lieutenant in Loudon's High- 
landers. See note at end of next letter. 

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170 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Letter from Colin Campbell, Glemire, to his brother, John 
Campbell of Barcaldine, docqueted "Aberdeen 21st April 
1746— Letter Colin Campbell." 

u Aberdeen 21st Apryle 1746. 

" Dr. Broyr., — I found your servant here whom I keept till 
this moment to try and send you the best accounts I could gett 
of the Victory gained by His R.H. over the Rebells. 

" I have sent you a printed account which was the first : But 
every account that comes here makes the number of the killed 
and Prisoners more than the first. J have sent you enclosed a 
list as was given up by an Express how [who] came here from our 
army this day, whom I saw examined here in the town house. 
The Argyleshire men by all accounts behaved gallantly and did 
great execution in the chase. I'm told they had two officers and 
20 men killed but can't tell the officers nfimes : Coll. Campbell i& 
safe. It gives me great pleasure our friends behaved so well. 

" We have not yet gott so distinct accounts of particulars, but 
[it] is most certain it was a compleat victory and what I'm per- 
suaded will put an end to the Rebellion. Numbers of prisoners 
are brought every moment. It's affirm 'd the Pretender is 
wounded in his knee and thigh and gott off in a Chaise towards 
Fort Augustus. 

" I will now give you an account of poor Sandie. I found him 
just alive, and most miserably mangled, his spirits are better 
since I came hear. I think he'll live, but can never be a firm 
man : his face is much disfigured by the want of his teeth, but 
his worst cut is in his Hand, which I'm much afraid will be of 
little use to him. It's lucky 'tis his left hand. Lord Crawford 
was so good as allow me to come here for a few days, I must 
return to Perth in 2 or 3 days and design to &end Robie here from 
Stirling to stay closly with Sandie till he carries him home. I 
begg upon recept of this you send express to Robie to tell him 
that he meatt me at Perth and let him know that he must come 
and wait of our Broyr here : Butt att any rate he wait at Perth 
till I come there. I hope you'll not neglect this and I think you 
should write Bailie Dauskin the necessity there is for his parting 
with Robie for a month. 

" Ld. Crawford told me the moment I returned from this I 
must go to Argyleshire so that you may expect to see me over 
this or next week. — I am Dr. Broyr. yours &c. 

"Colin Campbell. 

u I send you Sandie's letter, which was writt before I came." 

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Sheann Bhardachd Eilean-a' Cheo. 171 

Note. — Colin Campbell of Glenure was at this time an officer 
in Loudon's Highlanders : his brother Robert was a young mer- 
chant at Stirling. Lord Crawford had been the first Colonel of 
the Independent Companies, which in time became the 42nd ; he 
was at this time commanding a large force of Hessians and others, 
located in the central dist) icts of Scotland — Perth, Stirling, <fec. — 
and watching the passes. The party which surprised and routed 
the detachment at Keith was one of 200 foot and 40 horse, under 
the command of Major Glascoe, a French officer of Irish origin. 
They were sent from the Prince's army, encamped beyond the 
Spey. It is stated th*t only a few of Campbell's detachment 
escaped, the remainder being killed or taken prisoners, and that 
an officer, probably Ardslignish, 1 non-commissioned officer, and 5 
privates were killed, and that 12 of Major Glascoe's party were 
killed or wounded. Campbell's party was sent to Keith by order 
of General Bland from Strathbogie. See Browne's History of the 

Of the Argyleshire Regiment, John Campbell, yr. of Auchnaba, 
was mortally wounded at Culloden. 

[to be continued.] 

9.6th NOVEMBER, 1896. 

At the meeting this evening Mr Robert Stuart, 46 Shore 
Street, Inverness, was elected an ordinary member of the Society. 
Thereafter Mr A. Macbain, M.A., read a pai er in Gaelic, con- 
tributed by Mr Neil Macleod, Edinburgh, Bard to the Society, 
entitled " Beagan Dhuilleag bho Sheann Bhardachd Eilean-a'- 
Che6." The paper was as follows : — 


Cha robh suidheachadh aims am biodh an seanu Ghaidheal, 
co dhiu ab'e aighear no bron, soirbheachd no doirbheachd, nach 
robh luinneag no duanag 6rain aige a bha freagarrach air cor 
inntinn aig gach am. 

Mu 'n robh leabhraichean agus paipeiran-naigheachd air an 
cl6-bhualadh agus air an craobh-sgaoileadh air feadh na Gaidhealt- 
achd mar a tha iad an diugh, bha gach eachdraidh, ceol, bardachd, 
agus uirsgeul, air an giulan air aghaidh o linn gu linn air cuimhn' 

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172 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

agus meomhair an t-sluaigh. Dh' fhag sin na Gaidheil na 'n sluagh 
g&ir-chuiseach, beachdail, agus fiosrach air eachdraidh agus bard- 
achd nan linntean a dh' fhalbh. Bha mdran de spiorad na 
bardachd anns na Gaidheil gu nadurra. Cha 'n 'eil teagamh nach 
do chuidich an d6igh caithe-beatha, agus maise na duthcha anns 
an d' fhuair iad an crannchur, ann a bhi 'g arach an spioraid sin 
annta. Tha ea^al orm nach ann a' beothachadh a tha 'n spiorad 
rioghail sin ann an Gaidheil an latha 'n diugh, ach a' basachadh. 
Agus bu mhdr am beud e. Ach gu bhi tighinn a dh' ionnsuidh 
ar ceann teagaisg. Bheir sinn dhuibh a chiad duilleag bho 'n 
obair aig Raonull Domhnullach, no mar «bu trie a gheibheadh e, 
"Raonull Mac-Iain-'Ic-Eobhainn." Bha Raonull, 'na dhuine 
sunndach, abhachdach,, aighearach, agus 'na dheadh bhard. Chuir 
e mdran ri 'cheile de bhardachd bhinn, cheolmhor, ach 's e gl6 
bheag a chaidh riamh ann an clo dhe 'shaothair. Rinneadh an 
t-6ran a' leauas do choille bhig ris an abradh iad " Grimsaig," mar 
gum b' i fh&n a bhiodh ga dheanamh. 


'S e labhair Grimsaig 's a' mhaduinn, 
Gu moch 's i teannadh ri seanachas, — 
Gur a lionmhor m' aobhar smaointinn 
Bho 'n thainig orm aois 'us aimsir ; 
'S beag an t-ioghnadh mi bhi tursach 
'N uair a bheir mi suil mu'n cuairt dhomh, 
An dreach a bh' orm ri linn m' oige 
Fath mo bhroin e bhi as m' aonais. 

Bu bhadanach, soilleir, sughmhor, 
An cruth 's an ro mi 's an am sin, 
Gu fluranach, duiliench, aluinn, 
'S mi 'g elridh ri blaths an t-samhraidh, 
Gu meurach, meanglanach, bileach, 
Gu h-ianach ribheidach ceolmher, 
Gu bocach, maoisagach, meannach, 
Nach iarr 's an earrach an crodhadh. 

Bu shlatach, cabarach, lionmhor, 

Mo chuile dhiomhair, 's bu sheasgair, 

Gu gallanach, fada, fior-ghlan, 

Gu h-6ganach, d\reach, seasmhor. 

'S iomadh boc 'us maoiseach tharr-fhionn, 

Agus gabhar bhallach mheanbh-bhreac, 

'N uair dh' fhairicheadh iad fuachd na gaillionn, 

A thigeadh fo' m' bharrach gu tearmann. 

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Sheann Bhardachd Eilean-a'-Cheo. 173 

Far am biodh cronan nan damh, 
Gu croic-cheannach, corrach, ard, 
Slios* air nach luidheadh an dealt, 
'S trie a thug mi fasgadh dha ; 
'S iomadh fear a ghabh air fath, 
Air a tharr ri sail nan cnoe, 
'S mu 'n tugadh e cheann a sas 
Bhiodh e ri lar air a lot. 

Cho fad 's a' rachadh duthar nam beann 
Chuirinu-sa faileas mo chrann ; 
Ach chaoohail mo chumadh 's mo ghreann, 
7 S chaill mi gach urram a bh' ann ; 
Chaill mi gach buaidh a bha romham, 
Chaill mi mo dhreach 'us mo shnodhach, 
Chaill mi meanglain air gach taobh dhiom, 
Chaill mi mo chaorunn 's mo chnomhan. 

Chaill mi mo dhuilleach 's mo bharr, 
Chaill mi h-uile h-agh a bh' agam, 
Ghrod mo fhr^umhan anns an lar, 
'Us ard a chuireadh blath bho 'n talamh ; 
Ach dh' fhas mi 'na m' choille lomain, 
Tha mi air pronnadh 's air gearradh, 
Cha 'n 'eil geug annam gun lubadh, 
Gu h-iosgadach, gluineach, meallacb. 

Oran an Uisgb-bhbatha, 

Chaidh an t<>ran sunndach so a dheanamh leis an ughdair 
ch^udna. Tha 'n t-6ran so gle thric air ainmeachadh, " Cuach 
Mhic-IU , -Anndrais, ,/ ach cha 'n 'eil c6ir no buntuinn aig an dara 
h-oran ris an 6ran eile : — 

'N am e'iridh anns a' mhaduinn dhomh, 

'S mi dol a mach gu m' sheirbheis, 

Gu 'n thachair oigfhear gasda rium, 

*S bu charthannach a sheanachas ; 

'N uair thaituinn fhearas-chuideachd rium, 

'S ann cuide ris gu 'n d' fhalbh mi, 

Thug esan bharr an rothaid mi, 

'S dh' fhag sin an gnothach ainmeiL 

Ged dh* fhalbh mi air an turus ud, 
Air m' urras bha mi smaointinn, 
Gu 'm bu mhath an tearnadh dhomh, 
Na *n tarainn a bhi saor uai' ; 

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174 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Thachair cuid dhe 'chairdean ris, 
Dha 'm b' abhaist a bhi 'n gaol air, 
'S cho fad 'sa mhaireadh fairdein dhaibh 
Bhiodh pairt dhe air a thaobh-san. 

'N uair bha mi greis 'na 'chomunn, 

Bha mi 'n sin a' togairt falbh as, 

Ach fhuair mi e cho caoimhneil 

'S gu 'n do dh' fhaighnich mi cia ainm dha ; 

Thuirt esan " dean air t-athais, 

'Us glaodh fhathast air an t-searbhanta, — 

Lion an soitheach s61achadh, 

Am fear 'tha 'n stop mar ainm air." 

Ghnog mi mas a' ghurraich, 
'S chuir mi cuireadh air an t-searbhanta, 
Smaonich mi bho 'n dh' fhuirich mi 
Gum faighiun bun a sheanchais ; 
Dh 7 fhe6raich mi co shloinneadh dha, 
Ged cheileadh e de b' ainm dha, 
*S ann thuirt e rium gu faoilidh — 
" Cha bhi h-aon dhiu ort an dearmad." 

" Ma tha thu 'g iarraidh edlais orm, 
'S gu ; m bheil thu 'feorach m' ainme, 
Gu 'm faigh thu fios mo shloinnidh 
Le bhi uine bheag 'na m' sheanchas ; 
'S mi mac na poite-duibhe 
Bhios 'na suidhe am* bun a' ghealbhain, 
'Se 'n t-eorna buidhe is athair dhomh, 
'S i 'n atharnach mo sheana-mhathair." 

" Ma sa tusa an urra sin 

Bha thu 'na d' churaidh calma, 

Cha chuala mi fear eallaich 

Bheireadh barrachd ort an Alba ; 

Gu dearbh bu deadh fhear gnothaich thu, 

'S bu chomharraichte air falbh thu, 

Bu dannsair math le fidhill thu, 

'S ad* shuidhe bu tu 'n seanachaidh." 

"Buleoghann treubhach, sgairteil, thu, 
Cha robh thu lag no leanabail ; 
'S mar biodh iad ga do bhaisteadh, 
Gum biodh cuid dhe d' bheairtean ainmeil. 

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Sheann Bhardachd Eilean-a'-Cheo. 175 

Dhuisgeadh tu na cadalaich, 

'S gu 'n lagradh tu fear amasguidh, 

'S gu 'n deanadh tu fear lapach 

'Chur an staid an fhir bu mheannaichV 

" D£ nis is aite fuirich dhuit, 
No 'm bheil do bhunait dearbhte, 
No 'm bi thu aig daoin' uailse 
Mar bha thu uair dhe t-ainisir ? 
'S minig a bhiodh fuaim ac' ort, 
Ga d' chur an cuachan airgioid, 
Bhiodh uisge teth 'us fuar aca, 
Ri truaiileadh do mhac-meaninainn." 

" Cha 'n fhuiling iad an trath-sa mi, 

Tha ailleas agus anabharr 

Ga 'n lionadh leis an staitalachd, 

Tha aileadh sa ro shearbh leo ; 

Cha leig iad ball na 'n lathair dhiom, 

Bho 'n tha mi 'fas an Alba, 

Ach fion, 'us ruma, 'us branndaidh, 

Rud tha tigh'nn an nail air fairge." 

" Tha 'n gnothach sin ro chruadalach, 
Ma chumair uainn do chdmhradh ; 
Theid a' chuis bho eireachdas 
Ma cheilear air an st6p thu-«— 
Ga d' ghlasadh ann an seilearan, 
Gun choire tha e neonach ; 
'S gur iomadh fear a theireadh 
Nach bu bheag air thu 'na shedmar." 

Oran an Acrais. 

Bheir sinn aon duilleag eile dhuibh bho 'n obair aig Raonull 
cbir, agus an sin gabhaidh sinn ar cead de aig an am so. Tha e 
coltach gu'n robh Raonull agus an t-acras gu math eolach 
air cach-a-che*ile, agus cha b' ann coirde bhitheadh iad. Ach 
cluinneamid beachd Raonull fh^in air a' chuis : — 

Gur edlach air an acras mi, 

Tha theachdaireachd neo-inntinnach, 

Gur trie a thug e turrag orm 

An uiridh roimh am dinneireach. 

Digitized by VjOCKMC 

176 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Am fear a bhios 'n a dhraghaire, 
Neo-aghartach, mi-dh\chiollach, 
Cho luath '8 a gheibh e e61as air 
Cha deonach leis a chuiteachadh. 

Thug e na h-ochd seachduinnean 

Air fasdadh 'n a rao theaghlach-sa, 

Dh' fheuch e ri mo sporan, 

Fhuair e cothrom math air fhaothachadh ; 

Thug e gach ni bhuineadh dhomh, 

A bhuileachadh dhe 'n t-saoghal dhiom — 

Cha mhor nach tug e' m bas dhomh 

Ach gu 'n d' fhag e 'na mo Kaonull mi. 

Cha 'u eol dhomh fear do bhuitheis 

Anns a h-uile cuis a dh' innsinn ort, 

Gu 'm fag thu air bheag luiths 

Am fear a bhios tu dluth do 'n mheis aige. 

'S iomadh duine giulanta 

Dha 'n d' ionnsaich thu droch innleachdan, 

'S gu 'n cailleadh fear a naire 

Dol air sgath na teachd-an-tir ugad. 

'S eol dhomh cuid dhe d' chleachdaidhean, 

Bidh fasanan ro rahiodhoir agad, 

'S trie a bhios tu 's deifir ort 

A* dol a dh' fheitheamh mhireanan ; 

'N uair thigeadh tn 's an fheasgar 

Cha b' fhear greisaid thu air sior-obair, 

'S gur iomadh oigfhear beadarrach 

A rinn do chleasan cllleag dhe. 

'S corrail an am gluasaid thu, 

Cha dualach dhuit bhi siobhalta, 

Cha 'n fhaicear fiamh duin'-uasail ort 

A latha fuar no shide math ; 

'N uair theannadh tu ri miananaich 

Bu diachainneach air chlbhlean thu, 

'S a righ gur iomadh sgiabadh 

'Thug thu air mo bhial na 'n innsinn e. 

Tha mi 'n duil gu 'n d' theich thu uam 
A bhleidein 's dearbh' bu tlm dhuit sin, 
Bu trie a thug thu greis agam 
'S bu leisg do dhol an Ire dhomh ; 

Digitized by VjOCKMC 

Sheann Bhardachd Ei/eana'-Cheo. 177 

Cha 'n fhaic mi ball 's a' gheamhradh dhiot, 

Cha b' e sin am do sMnnsireachd, 

Ach ruigidh tu mi 's t-samhradh 

Bho 'n '8 e uair bu ghann mo libhrigeadh. 

Mo bheannachd do 'n bhuntata 

Bho 'n 's e 'ghrainich bhuam a' chiad uair thu, 

Cho luath 's a thug mi dhachaidh e, 

Cha 'n fhacas bad a' bhliadhn , ud dhiot ; 

Ma sguir thu dhe mo thaghal 

Gur e sin mo roghainn iarradais ; 

Mo mhallachd as do dheighaidh 

'S math a' chobhair learn gu 'n thriall thu bhuam. 

Chaidh an t-oran a' leanas a dheanamh le bean uasal, ghrinn, 
thalanntach, Baintighearna D'Oyly, fior bhana-Ghaidheal, agus 
deadh bhana-bhard. Bhuineadh Baintighearna D'Oyly, do 
theaghlach Mhic-'Iir-Challum, Rasair. Rinn i m6ran bardachd 
nach ro riamh ann an cl6. Tha coig dhe cuid 6rain anns a' cho- 
chruinneachadh aig Mac-na-Ceardaidh— an " t-Oranaiche." Tha 
luinneag bhinn, che61mhor leatha ann an " Sar-obair nam bard 
Gaelach" — "Thainig an gille dubh 'n raoir do 'n bhaile" — ach 's 
beag sin dhe na rinn i de bhardachd. Agus ged a rugadh 's a 
thogadh a' bhean uasal, ghrinn so ann an teaghlach mhuirneach 
agus ard-inbheach, cha d' thug sin oirre taire dheanamh air seann 
cbanain a sinnsir. Lean i riamh gu seasmhach, dileas, eudmhor, 
a' dion na Gailig, agus cliu nan Gaidheal. 

Oran do Rasair. 

Eilean ghaolaich, eilean ghradhaich, 

Eilean anns an d' fhuair mi m' arach ; 

'S ge do chunnaic mi iomadh aite 

'S e 'n Clachan grianach riamh a b' fhearr learn. 

Fior shiol Thorcuill a ruaigeadh fairge, 
Nam birlinn caol leis an sgaoilte an garbh-thonn; 
'S nan lannan g^ur leis an r^ubt' an targaid, 
'S nan cuilbheir gteusda gu f^um an t-sealgair. 

Sliochd Iain Ghairbh, an gaisgeach treubhach, 
Cha d' fhag thu 'n Alba fear do bheusan ; 
Fear laidir, meanmnach, gu cath na seilge, 
'S tu d* fhag an t-ainm ged a b' 6g a dh' ^ug thu. 


Digitized by VjOOQlC 

178 Oaelio Society of Inverness. 

Tlr nan gaisgeach, tir nan uasal, 
Na Leodaich ghasda, ghleusda, uaibhreach ; 
Na fleasgaich 6ga, gun smal gun ghruaimean, 
Gu direadh bbeanntan, 's gu siubhal chuantan. 

Tlr nam maighdean bu chaoimhneil failte, 
Nam bilean m\n-dhearg, 's nan dexidaibh aluinn ; 
Nan suilean dubh-ghorm, 's nan leadain f hainnteach ; 
'S an anail cubhraidh mar dhriuchd an fhasaich. 

Eilean fallain gur pailt gach Ion ann, 

Nan gleannan grianach ; nau sliabh 's nam mbinteach ; 

Gheibhte fraoch agus craobhan mor ann, 

Bho Chnoc-an-Ratha gu Carn-nan-neoinean. 

B' e sin an talamh bba rioghail, 6rdail, 

Bu trie daoin' uaisle nan suidh' aig b6rd ann ; 

Bha mais' 'us buaidh air gach lagan uaine 

'S a* mhuir mu 'n cuairt air le luingeas she61aidh. 

'S ann a chluinnte fuaim nam ploban, 

Cluich air chlarsaich 'us fonn air ftdhlibh ; 

Bhiodh danns' 'us ceol ann, bhiodh mir' 'us sp6rs' ann, 

'Us fuinn air orain am measg nan nlghneag. 

An am an iasgaich bhiodh mile seol ann, 

Air linne ghrianaich bho thir mo sholais ; 

'S air gach taobh dheth na beanntan mora, 

Bho 'n Chuillin ard gu Dimcanna 'n fheoir ghlais. 

Dh' fhalbh an uair sin, dh' fhalbh an tlm sin, 

Dh' fhalbh mo chairdean, dh' fhalbh mo'mhuinntir ; 

Tha daoine Galld' ann an tigh mo shinnsir, 

O, eilean ghradhaich cha 'n fhaic mi chaoidh thu. 

Iain oig Mhic-'IUe-Challum, 
Mu 'n d' rugadh thu bha sud air aithris — 
Gu 'm falbhadh uatsa do thuath 'us t-fhearann, 
Do chliu 's do bhuaidh, 'us do lamh bhi falamh. 

Seic thu t-oighreachd, reic 's do dhuthaich, 
Bha aig do theaghlach roimh am nan Stiubhart ; 
Ach 's iomadh cridhe bha briste, bruite, 
Air feadh do mhuinntir 'n uair chuir thu cul ri. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Sheann Bhardachd Eilean-tf-Cheo. 17$ 


Le Iain Mac Dh6mhnuill-'Ic-Alasdair. 

Eugadli Iain Domhnullach, no mar is trie a gheibheadh e, Iain 
Mac-DhomhnuilVIc-Alasdair, ann an Uige. Bha e beagan 
bhliadhnaichean 's an Reiseamaid Dhubh. Cha robh athair 
dednach e bhi 's an arm agus cheannaich e as e. An deigh an 
t-arm fhagail thainig e air ais do Ghleann Uige. Thug e fichead 
sanihradh 'sa h-ochd aig iasgach an sgadain. Bu trie leis a bhi 
aig an tigh 'sa a' gheamhradh. 'S ann air falbh aig an iasgach a 
bha e 'n uair a rinn e 'n t-6ran so. Rinneadh iomadh oran agus 
duanag laghach le lain. Ach tha eagal orm gu 'm bheil moran 
dhiubh nach gabh faotainn an iris. Rugadh e mu 'n bhliadhna 
J 797, agus chaochail e 's a* bhliadhna 1875. 

Dh' eirich mise maduinn chiuin, 
'S gu 'n thog sinn siuil ri garbh-chruinn, 
Chunnacas diibhradh mor is dudlachd 
An dam taobh J n uair dh ? fhalbh sinn ; 
*S gu 'n sh&d i bras le borb-thuinn chas, 
'S i tighinn a mach gu gailbheach ; 
'S i ruith le sugh air bharr gach stuchd, 
Ri togail smuid na fairge. 

Bu mhath bhi 'n uair sin feadh na luachrach, 

Shuas aig airidh Uige, 

Far 'in bi na h-uain J s na caoraich luaineach, 

Ruith mu 'n cuairt gu siubhlach ; 

Mi fhin J s mo chruinneag ri mo ghualainn 

'S deamhais chruadhach duint' aic', 

Gach fear 'us gille ruith mu 'n cuairt, 

'S bhiodh D6mhnull Ruadh le 'chu ann. 

Sud an gleann is boidhche sealladh 

Ann am maduinn reota ; 

Le caoraich gheala, dhubh, 'us ghlasa, 

Cuid dhiu tarr-fhionn, br6gach ; 

'S bidh lair le 'n searraich 'm bun gach beallaich, 

Suas ri srath nan 16intean, 

'S a dh' aindeoin ^aillionn no fuachd Earraich 

Cha 'n iarr mart ann crodhadh. 

Digitized by VjOCKMC 

180 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S iomadh caileag chuimir, ghuanach, 

Tha ann ri cuallach spreidhe, 

Le cuman 's buarach dol do 'n bhuaile, 

'S laoigh mu 'n cuairt di 'geumnaich. 

B' e 'n ce61 nach b' f huathach learn an duanag 

'Na suidhe luadh air cleithidh, 

Mi-fhin gu h-uallacb 's piob ri m* ghualainn 

Cluich nan nuallan &bhinn. 

'S iomadb caileag bboidheacb, chuimir, 

Bhios na 'n suidh' aig cuibhle ; 

Sniomh nan rolag, seinn nan luinneag, 

Bidh gach iorram bhinn ac', — 

An snath is boidhche falbh bho meoirean, 

Cothroin, c6mhnard, slnte, 

'S am fait na chuaich air chul an cluais, 

'S e togta suas le cirean. 

'N uair bha mi 6g mu 'n d' rinn mi posadh, 

Bha mi gorach, aotrom, 

Falbh gu sp6rsail 'measg nan oighean, 

Sud an seol bu chaomh learn ; 

.'S an te bhiodh coir 's a bheireadh pog dhomh 

Shuidhinn stolt* ri taobh-sa ; 

'S o 'n te nach f uilingeadh ball 'n a 'c6ir dhiom 

Gheibhinn d6rn mu 'n aodann. 

'N uair thig an geamhradh 's am nam bainnsean,. 

Gheibh sinn dram na T6iseachd ; 

Bidh Nollaig chridheil aig cloinn-nighean 

'S aig na gillean 6ga ; 

Na mnathan fein gu subhach, eibhinn, 

'S iad a' gleusadh oran, 

'S bidh dram aig bodaich anns an fhodar — 

JSogan orra 'comhradh. 

Gheibhte sgialachdan ro bhriadha 
Aig bodaich Hatha cheanna-ghlas ; 
B' iad sud na se6id 'n uair bha iad 6g 
Gu iomart bho feadh gharbhlach ; 
Gu'm biodh iad trie 's an Eaglais-bhric 
Ag iomain cruidh feadh ghart)h-chrioch, 
'S cha rachadh brog a chur mu 'n sp6ig 
Gu ruigte an ceo o 'n d' fhalbh iad. 

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Sheann Bhardaohd Eilean-a'-Cheo. 181 

Iain-Ic-Thearlaich far do lamb, 

Tha sinne cairdeil daonnan ; 

Tha thus' a' fas is mise cnamh, 

'S mo cheann cho ban ri faoileig ; 

Bu mhor an toileacbadh do phaisde 

Gheibheadh blath ri taobh thu ; 

'N uair tbig an gearabradb bidh ta 'n sas 

Aig nighean bhan Mhic-Mhaoilein. 

'S iomadh oidbche fbluicb 'us fbuar 

A gbabh mi suas an t-ard-cbnoc, 

A sbealltain air a' chaileig ghuanaich, 

Bean nan gruaidbean narach ; 

Olc no matb le lucbd ar tuaileis 

A luaidh, gus mi gad* fhagail, 

Phos mi 'n sin thu 's tbug mi uatb tbu, 

'S bba sud cruaidb le Padruig. 

Fhir a shiubbleas gu mo dhuthaicb — 

'S ann a Uig a db' fhalbh mi — 

Tboir beannacbd dubailte ga J n ionnsuidh 

Cbosdas cruintean airgioid ; 

'Us can ri Seochd J tba anns aJ Chuil, 

An co-dhunadb mo sbeanachais, 

Gur barail learn gu 'm faic mi 'gbnuis 

Mu 'n teid an uir air Armcbul. 

Oran Bhonapartb. 

Rinneadb an t-6ran a' leana^ le Aonghas Shaw (Mac-an-Lighich), 
deadh bhard agus deadh shaigbdear. Db' fbuiling e moran 
amhgbair agus alaban, ann an iomadh cearn de 'n t-saoghal ann an 
seirbheis a rigb 's a dhutbcha. Rinn e 'n t-6ran fearail so aig 
criochnachadh cogagb na Frainge. Tha e air aithris gu 'n do 
thachair Mac-an-Lighich agus am bard Couanach, ri cheile aon 
uair ann an Tigh-6sda Dhunbheagain. Tha e coltach gun ro am 
bard Conanach 'na luidhe air an urlar leis a' mhisg. Sheas Mac- 
an-Lighich os a chionn, agus thuirt e : — 

" Tha 'm bard Conanach gu. tlnn, 
Air a drium an tigh an oil ; 
'S ge b J e phaigh air son na deoch, 
Bbeir e biadh do choin Mhic-Le6id." 

Digitized by VjOCKMC 

IBS Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ach bha 'm bard Conanaeh cho deas ris fhein. Thionndaidh e 
agus fhreagair Mac-an-Lighich, air ais leis an rami a' leauas : — 

" Thug thu masladh do Mhac-Ledid, 
'S dhomhsa cha bu choir a ohleith — 
Nach fhaigheadh a chuid con de Ion 
Ach na ni luchd 6il a sgeith." 


Na 'm b' fhear-focail bhiodh giar mi 
Gun lochd bhi 'na m' bhriathran, 
Gu 'n innsinn nam b' f hi ach leibh, 
An sgiala so a th' ann ; 
Ma 'sa h-eachdraidh tha fior i 
Thug a' phacaid an iar dhuinn, 
Tha na naimhdean a phian sinn 
Air an ciosnachadh teann ; 
'S ann 's a* rahUe 's ochd ciad, 
Agus coig-bliadhna-diag 
Thainig naidheachd na sithe 
Bho chriocbaibh na Fraing ; 
Bha sinn fada 'g a h-iarraidh 
'S tha Breatainn Ian riaraichte, 
Tha na Frangaich air striochdadh 
Le diobhail ar lann. 

Rinn lamhaich fir Lunnuinn, 
Agus cabhlaeh ar luiugeas, 
Bonaparte chur an cunnart 
Ged a dh' fhuiliug e stri ; 
Neart laidir ar gillean, 
Anns nach tarmaicheadh giorag 
'S nach saraicheadh fionnachd 
Fo shileadh nan speur ; 
Rachadh dana ri teine, 
Anns na blaraibh gu minig ; 
Buaidh larach gach fine 
Ag io^ain an treud, 
Rinn spairn an cuid piostal 
An garradh a bhristeadh, 
Ghabh Spain! aich, 'us Turcaich 
'Us Prusaich ratreut. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Sheann Bhardachd Eilean-a'-Cheo. 183 

Gu'n d' illsich sirni " Boni," 
Ged a b' ard a bha cboileir, 
Le ailleachd 's le olachd, 
Le cbonas 's le shannt ; 
Thainig beam' air a dhorus, 
Far an d' f haillig am balla, 
Chaidh am meirleach ri talamh, 
Leis a* characbd a bh' ann ; 
Cba robb stath 'n a chuid chanan, 
Cbaidb a phairtaidh an tainead, 
Rinn a dbanadas cearrail, 
A cbuid fearainn a cball ; 
Cbaidb a phalais a ghlacadh, 
Le h-airneis 's le b-aitreabb, 
'S tba 'n Spain air a creachadb 
*S cha robb 'chaagairt ud fann. 

Na 'm biodb tre6ir na mo neart-sa, 
'N uair bba 'n rogaire ud glacte, 
Ged nach b' bheo mi fad seachduin, 
Cbuirinn acaid na cbom ; 
Gheibbinu c6crach a nasgaidh, 
Bbiodb na rdpan an cleachdidh, 
Cbuirinn c6rd dbi ga tbacbdadh, 
'S e gun tacsa ri' bbonn ; 
Bbiodh a shedmraichean daingeann 
'S a cb6mhla air a barradh, 
Gun aon de6 tbighinn dhe anail 
Ged Vobb theanga 'n a poll ; 
Bbiodh a l&ne dbe 'n darach, 
Cba bhiodh feuni air an anart, 
'S bbiodh an rebal fo 'n talamh 
'S leachd thana ri' thorn. 

Sgriobhainn aintn a lic-san — 
Fear mharbhadh nam fichead, 
Ceann armailt a bhristidh 
Ceann stuice gaub rog, 
Ard cbealgair nam piotal, 
Air an alachaig bu trie thu 
Chuir am farbhas 'na d' dhrip tbu, 
'S chuir e sgiotadh 'na & 1 e6in ; 

Digitized by VjOCKMC 

184 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Cha V e 'n caiman do thiotal, 
Cha b' e chalmachd bu mheas dhuit, 
Rinn fir Alba agus Blucher 
Do chuid isein a' le6n ; 
Murtair arraailt na creiche, 
Robair airgioid na Tuirco, 
Cluinnear t-ainm anns gach litir, 
Fhir nach d 1 fhiosraich a' ch6ir. 

Fear gun naire ,gun mheas thu, 

Gun chairdeas, gun gliocas, 

Gun bhaigh ri fear briste, 

Gun iochd ri fear leoint' ; 

Graine mullaich an t-sluiehd thu, 

Tom gabhaidh na buidseachd ; 

Bha bathadh 'na d* shlugan 

Air son slugadh an oir ; 

Cha 'n 'eil geard no tigh-cuspainn 

Eadar Paras is Lisbon, 

Nach robh 'meirleach 'n am measg ann, 

Gus an ruigeadh e 'n R6imh ; 

Ged a sharaich thu mise, 

Le geard is le piocaid, 

Chaidh aird ort an nise ; 

'S fhearr fo 'n lie thu na beo. 

Tha gach maighdean 'us caileag 

Le deoir air am malaidh, 

Bho na mheall thu 'n cuid leannain 

A dh* aindeoin am bonn. 

Gach og agus sean bhean, 

Ri strdiceadh am bannaig, 

Bho na she61 an cuid fearaibh 

Bho chala nan long ; 

Gach seang-bhean 's bean thorrach, 

'■S leat fuidhleach am mallachd, 

Thug thu 'n coimh-leapaich shona 

Bbo 'm broillaichcan trom ; 

Tha gach mathair 'us muime, 

Leughadh gasaid na dunach, 

Sgeula bais an cuid luran 

Fuar, fionnar, fo 'n torn. 

Digitized by VjOCKMC 

Sheann Bhardachd Eilean-a'-Cheo. 185 

Fhir a shiubhlas an rat had 

Gu duthaich ar 'n athar 

Air chul nam beann srathach 

Far an tathaich an ce6, 

Thoir le durachd mo naigheachd 

A dh' ionusuidh nan coimhearsnach, 

Ceannardan thighean, 

Nach biodh coimheach ma 'n Ion ; 

'S e mo dhurachd gach latha 

Gu 'm faie mi sibh fhathast, 

Agus deireadh mo bheatha 

Bhi ga caitheamh 'n 'ur coir ; 

Fhir a leughas an ealaidh 

'N uair a bhios tu ga gabhail, 

Bi toirt cuimhn' air an t-Seathach, 

'S uisge-beathe ga 61. 

Bheir sinn aon duanag ghoirid eile bho 'n obair aig Mac-an- 
Lighich, agus cuiridh sin crioch air a' phaipeir so. Kinn Mac-an- 
Lighich, an t-6ran a' leanas 'n uair a ghabh e 's an arm an toiseach. 
Faodaidh cuid a bhi faotainn coire do 'n doigh litreachaidh a tha 
air cuid a dh' fhacail aims a' phaipeir so. Ach tha iad air an cur 
si os car air a* mhodh air am bheil a' Ghailig air a labhairt anns a 
chearn anns an d' rinneadh na h-oiain so. 

Oran a* Ghunna. 

Tha 'n oidhche 'n nochd gle fhuar 

'S mi ri uallach mo cheile, 
Ga giiilan air mo ghualainn 

Cha tuairisgeul br&g e ; 
Cha 'n fhaod mi dol a dh* uaigneas 

No chluaineis ri te/ ile 
'S cha 'n urrainn mi cur uam 

Ged nach d' fhuair mi bho 'n chleir i. 

*N uair fhuair mi as an Tur thu 

'S tu ur bharr na faille, 
Bu bheachd learn gu 'm bu chliu 

Bhi ga <T ghiulan gu h-eutrom ; 

Digitized by VjOCKMC 

186 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'N uair tharruinn mi thu dlu dhomh 
'S mi 'u duil a bhi r&dh riut ; 

Cha tuiginn guth dhe d' chanain 
An Gailig no 'm Beurla. 

Nach mairg a fhuair ri giulan 

T^ ruisgte gun eldeadh, 
A chaidleas anns na cuiltean, 

'S nach ionnlaid mo leine ; 
A chuireas feum air burn 

Gu bhi 8giiradh a creubhaig, 
Lo cudrom chupla phuund 

Eadar uilleadh 'us bhreidean. 

Bho 'n chiad la chuir mi snaim ort 

Ohaidh maill* air mo l&rsinn, 
Chaidh til lead h air mo chuimhn' 

Agus buidhread air m' &sdeachd ; 
Chaidh m' aigneadh uil' air aimhreit, 

'S mo cheann troimh-a-cheile, 
Nach bochd dhomh bi fo' d' chuing 

'S tu gun suim dhe mo chr^uchdan. 

Freagairt a! ghunna — 

Ged tha mi 'n duigh gun storas, 

Gun ch6ta, gun leine, 
Gu 'n chuir mi roimh an t-6r 

*N a do dhorn nach robh gleidh teach ; 
Fichead guinea comhla 

'N uair phos sinn le eibhneas, 
Gur cinntcach dhuit an corr 

Ma sa beo sinn le cheile. 

Cha choir dhuit a bhi rium, 

Ged nach cunntais mi spr&dh dhuit ; 
Tha dollair dhuit ga 'n cuinneadh, 

'Us flux air gach feill dhuit ; 
Bidh muic-fheoil, 's mairt-fheol ur 

Anns gach biitha do 'n teid thu ; 
'S leat aran cheithir punnd, 

'S do chuid leann cha bhi 'n eis ort. 

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Annual Dinner. 187 

12th JANUARY, 1807. 

The Twenty-fifth Annual Dinner of the Society took place in 
the Caledonian Hotel this evening, under the presidency of Cluny 
MacpherBon of Cluny, chief of the Society for the year. Cluuy 
was supported on the right by Sir Jacob Wilson, Sir Henry C. 
Macandrew, and Provost Macpherson, Kingussie ; and on the left 
by Dr Alexander Boss, Rev. Dr Norman Macleod, and Mr Robert- 
son, factor to the Duke of Athole. Mr Alexander Maobain, M.A., 
and Mr Alex. Mackenzie, publisher, were croupiers, and over sixty 
gentlemen were present. 

The Chairman, who was received with applause, gave the 
customary loyal and patriotic toasts, which were pledged with 

Mr Duncan Mackintosh, secretary to the Society, then read a 
long list of apologies for absence, from members of the Society, aud 
submitted the annual report of the Executive, which was as 
follows: — In submitting the twenty-fifth annual report, the 
Council have pleasure in reporting that the Society has had 
another useful year. During the year 1 life member, 3 
honorary members, aud 14 ordinary members joined the Society. 
Volume XX. is in the hands of the printer, and the Publishing 
Committee will endeavour to have it issued to the members as 
soon as possible. The membership of the Society stands at 
present- 32 life members, 51 honorary members, and 340 
ordinary members. The Treasurer's report is as follows : — 
Balance from last year, ,£25 Is 9d ; income during year, £136 7s 
8d ; total, £161 9s 5d ; expenditure during year, £100 2s Id, 
leaving a balance to the credit of the Society's account in the 
Bank of Scotland of £61 7s 4d. John Mackay, Esq., J. P., Here- 
ford, "has within the last month generously sent a special contribu- 
tion of £5 towards the publishing fund, and during the year a 
number of interesting volumes have been added to the Society's 
library, including a copy of the " Presbytery Records of Inverness 
and Dingwall," from the editor, the honorary secretary of the 
Society, Mr Wm. Mackay, solicitor. It may be mentioned that 
the Society's annual assembly in July last, presided over by Rev. 
Dr Stewart, Nether- Lochaber, was the most successful ever held 
under our auspices, and it is evident that the Society continues to 
do excellent work ; and with a greater command of funds would 
still extend in influence and usefulness. 

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183 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Cluny, who was enthusiastically received, in giving the toast 
of the evening, "Success to the Gaelic Society of Inverness," 
said — I desire very heartily to thank the Council for the high 
complimeut they have paid me in electing me " Chief of the 
Society " for the current year. I appreciate the honour all the 
more from the fact that my father, who was much esteemed by all 
Highlanders, was its " first " Chief, and that he continued to take 
the warmest interest in the prosperity of the Society down to the 
date of his death. .Re-elected as Chief for the second time in 
1873, I find from the third volume of the Transactions that he 
presided at the annual dinner on 13th January, 1874, just twenty- 
three years ago, and proposed the toast of "Success to the Society" 
in the old mother tongue so dear to us all. I regret that, though 
I am conversant with Gaelic to a certain extent, I am unable to 
make a speech in it, not having learnt it in my boyhood, and 
since then having been so long absent from the country in the 
service of Her Majesty. Followed as my father was in the Chief- 
ship of the Society by such distinguished and patriotic 
Highlanders as Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Gairloch, Mr Fraser- 
Miickintosh of Drummond, Professor Blackie, Mr Mackay of 
Hereford, Mr Maclonald of Skeabost, Rev. Dr Maclauchlan of 
Edinburgh, General Sir Patrick Grant, Lord Dunmore, Lochiel, 
Mr Mackenzie, yr. of Kintail, Mr Munro- Ferguson of Novar, 
Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Sir Henry Macaudrew, Mr Murray 
Grant of Glenmoriston, Mr Douglas Fletcher of Rosehaugh, Rev. 
Dr Norman Macleod, aud Mr Baillie of Dochfour, the history of 
the Society since its institution in 1871 has been, I am glad to 
say, one of uninterrupted prosperity and progress. As you 
are aware, " the objects of the Society are the perfecting of the 
members in the use of the Gaelic language ; the cultivation of 
the language, poetry, and music of the Scottish Highlands ; the 
rescuing from oblivion of Celtic poetry, traditions, legends, books, 
and manuscripts ; the establishing in Inverness of a library, to 
consist of books and manuscripts in whatever language bearing 
upon the genius, the literature, the history, the antiquities, and 
the material interests of the Highlands and the Highland people ; 
the vindication of the rights and character of the Gaelic people ; 
aud, generally, the furtherance of their interests, whether at home 
or abroad." These are most laudable objects, and I am sure you 
will all agree with me that right nobly has the Society, so far, 
carried them out. The nineteen admirable volumes already 
published, a set of which I am proud to have the privilege 
of possessing, are a perfect mine of information regarding the 

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Annual Dinner. 189 

poetry, traditions, and legends of the Higlands. I am particularly 
gratified with the exceedingly valuable papers contributed to the 
transactions elucidating the history and old folk-lore of the wide 
and extensive district of Badenoch, with which for many centuries 
my forefathers have been so intimately connected, and in which I 
am myself naturally so much interested. While it is very satis- 
factory to find that within the last few years so many clan 
societies have been formed with similar aims, although to a more 
limited extent than those of this Society, it seems to me that these 
societies are, as a rule, if I may be allowed to say so, given to 
spending too much of their funds on social functions, in the shape 
of various entertainments, such as concerts, balls, and so on, t he 
results of which, although otherwise enjoyable for the time, are 
generally very evanescent. It certainly would be well, I think* 
if all such societies were to follow, so far, the example of this 
Society, and devote the larger portion of their annual income to 
the publication of old documents and traditions, as well as the 
founding of bursaries for deserving arid promising young students 
connected with their respective clans. Without further remarks, 
let me ask you, gentlemen, to drink a very hearty bumper, with 
all honour, to the success of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. 
Long may it continue to flourish, and foster, as it has so success- 
fully done in the past, the noble objects for which it was 
instituted — " A' nise 6lamaid na h-uile soirbheachadh do Chomuun 
Gailig Inbhirnis." 

Sir Henry Macandrew proposed " Tir nam Beann nan Gleann 's 
nan Gaisgeach " — (applause). He believed the person in charge 
had endeavoured to compress this toast list, and had committed 
to him the duty of giving a very comprehensive and very ancient 
toast. It embraced almost everything to which they could wish to 
drink upon such an occasion. It embraced the country and the 
people in it. When they drank to both they drank to what all 
of them felt in their inmost hearts ; they drank to the influence 
of their country as it bound them, the ideals existing in them, and 
to the memories that live for ever. His toast also embraced the 
people of this country — and he believed it was a very ancient toast 
this "Tir nam Beann nan Gleann 's n*an Gaisgeach"; it was also very 
instructive, in as much as it taught them the way in which their 
ancestors looked upon their ancestors, upon the kind of people they 
believed themselves to belong to : it was a country of heroes. 
The poet had said that the old times looked beautiful because they 
were far off. It might be that their ancestors were not as great as 
they were thought to be ; but was it not possible that they of the 

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190 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

present day were better than they thought themselves ? But there 
were heroes in this country, and they need not go very far back 
either in history or traditions to find them. They fouud people in 
this country living a great life in so far as they did it because they 
looked to the high ideal behind them and wished to maintain it in 
their own time. Coming nearer their own period, they knew that 
during the last great war in Europe this country rose from being 
an Island into an Empire. By our own right hand we held our 
own against the whole of Europe. There were many brave and 
great men then ; and he thought, considering their area, the High- 
lands occupied the greatest prominence in the number of great 
soldiers and great statesmen it gave the country. At that time, 
as they knew, we lost a great part of our Empire, America — a very 
thinly-populated and small country then — but while that was so, 
we gained, mainly through the exertions of a Highland gentle- 
man, our great Indian Empire. He referred to Charles Grant, 
son of a not very distinguished family in Glen-Urquhart, 
who rose up to be a great statesman, and a benefactor 
of his country. Coming to their own time, the question 
they should ask themselves was, were they worthy of the Past ? 
Why were their ancestors heroes? He would say first because 
they felt the influence and associations of the glorious country in 
which they lived. Then they looked always to a high ideal — it 
might be to a family, a chief, a clan, but still it was something 
above the man himself, something for which he lived above his 
own life, and for which he was willing to sacrifice his life to gain — 
not those material concerns upon which, he was afraid, they at the 
present day placed too high a value. That, he thought, was why 
the people of old called themselves heroes ; and it was only by 
keeping some high ideal before them that they could in some 
degree become worthy of those associations. He concluded by 
giving them this ancient toast, and called upon the company to 
drink it with Highland honours. 

Provost Macpherson, Kingussie, in replying,, said that he 
appreciated very highly indeed the honour of being asked to 
respond to the very important toast so eloquently proposed by 
Sir Henry Macandrew. If he remembered rightly, this was the 
first occasion on which "Tir nam Beann nan Gleann 's nan 
Gaisgeach" had been proposed afra dinner of the Society, and no 
more appropriate toast could, he thought, be given at such a 
gathering of Highlanders. The very name "Tir nam Beann" 
stirred up in their hearts tender and bubdued memories of bygone 
days, and recalled many of the most pleasant associations of their 

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Mr Skene versus Or Skene. 191 

lives. Mr Macpherson delivered a lengthy reply, and in con- 
clusion he expressed the hope that " Tir nam Beann " would in 
future be given an honourable place in the toast-list of the 
Society dinners, and that it would be always as ably proposed, and 
as heartily received, as it had been that evening. 

A number of other toast6 were proposed and heartily responded 
to. Gaelic and English songs were sung, and the Society's piper, 
Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie, played appropriate pipe music 
at the dinner and between the toasts. 

28th JANUARY, 1897. 

At the meeting this evening Mr R. Paterson, Town Chamber- 
lain, Inverness, and Mr H. M. Graham, solicitor, Inverness, were 
elected ordinary members of the Society. Thereafter Mr A. 
Macbain, M.A., read a paper entitled " Mr Skene v. Dr Skene." 
The paper was as follows : — 


My reason for writing a paper appealing from " Skene Young" 
to " Skene Old" is due to the fact that the popular historian and 
the clan controversialist prefer Dr Skene's earlier work of 1837 to 
his maturer work of forty years later on " Celtic Scotland," or, at 
any rate, quote the two works as of equal value. Hence blunders 
about " maormors," cadet " toiseachs," and the Culdee Church are 
repeated, and the authority of the earlier book is cited to bolster 
up a genealogy, such as that of the Macdonalds as against the Mao- 
ri ougalls, while the later work has quietly corrected the errors of 
the first book, and makes the Macdougalls, for instance, the 
eldest descendants of Somerled, as they undoubtedly are. The 
reason why the earlier book is popular, and the later book is not, 
is simple enough : the work on the " Highlanders" is a youthful 
production, full of the cock-sureness and consequent clearness and 
easy reading characteristic of youth. " Celtic Scotland" is, in the 
words of the poet, "sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;" 
it is a learned, laborious work in three portly volumes, with 
infinite notes and references, balanced arguments, and con- 
structive theories reasoned out before the reader's eyes — a difficult 
book to read, and, for most readers, a difficult book to understand. 
It deals with clan origins in a generalised and scientific way, 

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192 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

whereas the early book treats each clan by itself, and gives a 
short sketch of the leading clans to the number of about thirty. 
Over the one book hangs as an atmosphere the certainty of youth, 
over the other the hesitation and caution of age. And the public 
naturally prefer the former. 

A more serious point on which the influence of Skene has been 
harmful and will be so for some time to come is the ethnology of 
early Scotland. The views which he held on the origin and 
language of the Picts and on the Scottic conquest of 843 were 
revolutionary in the extreme : they were a reversal of all docu- 
mentary and traditional history, and the only other historian 
before him who maintained similar views, and who in fact was 
the originator of the new theories, was Pinkerton, who in his 
"Enquiry into the History of Scotland" in 1789, glorified the 
Picts and depressed the Dalriads. Skene worked out his 
" uniform itarian" theory of Scottish ethnology wherein the Picts 
are proved to be the direct ancestors, genealogically and linguisti- 
cally, of the present-day Highlanders : there was no change in 
the language or race made in the 8th and 9th centuries of our era 
in Northern Scotland, as the former historians maintained. This 
plausible but revolutionary theory has completely captivated the 
popular historians and other writers on historic subjects in Scotland. 
In fact they do not seem to know now that Skene's views are 
revolutionary. Fordun in the 14th century formulated the old 
and orthodox view of Scottish history wherein the Scots conquered 
the Picts and imposed their language on Pictland ; . Wyntoun 
put the same history into Scottish rhyme ; Boece overlarded it 
with fables and fictions ; Buchanan embalmed it in Livian Latin ; 
Father Innes in 1729 put it on a scientific footing, making the 
Picts simply the " Painted" Britons and kin to the Cymry in 
language ; and Chalmers made it encyclopaedic in his "Caledonia," 
adopting Innes' " British" view. But Pinkerton and Skene 
changed all that, and the worst of it is that the general reading 
and intelligent public have not observed that these two authors 
have revolutionised early Scottish history. For instance, the 
" County Histories" now in course of publication by Blackwood 
have one and all hitherto accepted Skene's views as a matter of 
course, seemingly never having any idea that another and older 
view existed. And yet the older view is the one which now Celtic 
scholars here and on the Continent hold with more or less modifi- 

A few words as to the life-history of Dr Skene are not out of 
place in considering his earlier and later work. William Forbes 

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Mr Skene versus Or Skene. 193 

Skene was born in 1809, the same year as Gladstone and Tenny- 
son : a Highlander, too, by birth, which took place at Inverie of 
Knoydart, on the Glengarry estates. His father was James 
Skene of Rubislaw, near Aberdeen, Scott's great friend, a lawyer 
and litterateur ; his mother was a daughter of Sir William Forbes 
of Pitsligo. He received his e arly education at Edinburgh High 
School, and even at this early stage devoted attention to Gaelic, 
which was all the easier, as he was connected maternally with the 
Glengarry family. Besides, he was, on Scott's suggestion, boarded 
for a time with Dr Mackintosh Mackay in Laggan. These facts 
account for his bias in after days towards the families of Cluny 
and Glengarry as against Mackintosh and Clanranald. Tn 1824 
he went to Germany with his brother, where he acquired a taste 
for philology, which, however, never passed the amateur stage. 
Thereafter he passed a session at St Andrews, then served his 
legal apprenticeship with Sir William Jardine, his uncle, and 
became W.S. in 1832. He practised as W.S. for forty yearR, and 
soon after passing for the title he became clerk of the bills in the 
bill chamber of the Court of Session, an office which he held till 
1865. During the later portion of his life he devoted himself, in 
the comparative freedom which he attained from his business cares 
and engagements, to putting his thoughts and researches into 
Scoto-Celtic history into shape, and " Celtic Scotland " appeared 
in 1876-1880, his magnum opus. He never married; he took a 
great interest in religious and church matters, being an Episcopalian 
in church politics. 

His first book was the " Highlanders of Scotland," published 
in 1837. It was a youthful essay, written for the Highland 
Society, whose prixe it won. It has nothing of the grasp and 
accuracy of another work published then by nearly as young a 
man as himself — I mean Gregory's "Western Isles," a book which 
is still a standard authority, while Skene's work ought to be 
obsolete. Skene's next considerable work was the Introduction 
to the Dean of Lismore's Book in 1862. Here he maintained the 
general authenticity of Macpherson's " Ossian," and in so doing 
attacked the early history of the Irish annals, drawing a line 
across the historic page at 483 a.d., the date of the Battle of 
Ocha, where the Hy Neill vindicated their claim to the Irish head 
kingship. It may be said at once, to use a well-known phrase, 
that it would surpass the wit of man to draw any sueh line with) 
any regard to the character of these annals; old Tigernaoh (a.Dv 
1088) proposed to draw such a line at Cimbaeth in 305 bjq\, with 
almost equal justice. Where fiction and artificial chronology end 


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194 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

and fact and correct dates begin is impossible to say within two 
or three hundred years or more. Nor does it aftect Macpherson's 
fictitious and factitious history; he sins against the literature of 
the race — the history embalmed therein and never departed from 
before or after Ocha ; and no attack on the genuineness of that 
history can get over the fact that Macpherson's history is made 
up of his own ignorance and invention. In 1868 Skene published in 
two volumes " The Four Ancient Books of Wales," where he 
displays his besetting tendency to accept documents as belonging 
to the time at. which they pretend to have been written, though 
appearing, as in this case, in MSS. six hundred years later. His 
" Chronicles of the Picts and Scots " is a valuable work, where all 
the MS. materials of British and Irish origin bearing on the history 
of Scotland anterior to Malcolm Ceannmore are brought together 
The introduction describes the material and its sources, and 
propounds his well-known views on the descent of the Dalriadic 
monarchs. He edited Fordun for the " Scottish Historians " 
series, and also Reeves's " Adamnan." His great work on " Celtic 
Scotland " appeared in successive volumes in 1876-1880, forty 
years after the "Highlanders of Scotland." Skene was made 
D.C.L. in 1879, and succeeded Burton in the honorary office of 
histriographer royal for Scotland in 1881. He died at Edinburgh 
in August, 1892. 

Skene's genius is constructive, not critical ; and in the present 
state of our historic material it is criticism that is wanted, His 
proneness to accept the professed date of a composition, despite 
the lateness of its appearance in MS., is fatal in Celtic studies. 
His glorification of the Albanic Duan is a case in point : it pro- 
fesses to be composed for Malcolm Ceannmore, but it appears only 
in late MSS., its language is late Middle Irish, and, in fact, its 
composition is at least three hundred years later than it professes 
— a poor manufacture of the 14th century at the earliest. Yet 
Skene bases his great theory of the disappearance of the Dalriadic 
kingdom in the 8th and early 9th century upon it and Flann ; 
and Flann, too, is not the real Flann who died in 1056, or else he 
is able to record events for 73 years after his own death ! The 
use which Flann's continuator makes of the expression "ri 
Alban" is the cause of the whole confusion. The four or five last 
kings before Kenneth Mac Alpin whom he gives were kings of 
Pictland, not of Dalriada, or even Alba ; but they were kings in 
Alba coeval with the Irish monarchs whom he mentions. Skene 
ought to have remembered that the Mormaers of Moray are called 
kings of Alban when Malcolm Mac Kenneth was really the king — 

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Mr Skene versus Dr Skene. 195 

Finlay in 1020 and his nephew Malcolm in 1029. In fact, Skeno 
himself blundered sadly on this very point in 1837. Against all 
history and tradition he insisted that Malcolm, Mormaer of Moray, 
was king of Scotland from 1004 to 1029, simply because the 
Annals of Ulster record his death in 1029 as ri Alban: So Flann 
lias to be reiki critically, and the Albanic Duan simply puts 
Flann's kings down, omitting four, with dates of reigns, which, as 
vie shall see, are simply absurd for the first part of the 9th 
century. Dr John Mackintosh,' author of the " History of Civili- 
sation in Scotland," says bluntly but truly of Skene : — " He was 
very industrious and painstaking ; but his mind was narrow and 
glimmering. He had no philosophic grasp, and very little of the 
•critical faculty." 

For the questions which he essayed to clear up — the early 
history and ethnology of Scotland — he lacked two absolute 
•essentials : he knew no scientific philology, in which his work is 
no great advance on Chalmers ; and he had no equipment at all 
in anthropology, so that he was quite unable to appreciate the 
profound significance of the Pictish law of succession or heirship 
through females. He made no use of archaeological results : he 
depended entirely on literary documents. The Celtic language 
and Celtic culture belong, as we now know, to the wider Indo- 
European or Aryan area, full cousins to Latin, Greek, and 
Teutonic early civilisation. This itself is enlightening, but it 
does not enlighten Skene's pages, who seems to regard the Celticised 
Picts as aborigines, and whose comparisons of their early customs 
.are made, though daintily, to Kaffir tribes and Indian clans. 
Where did the Celts come from, and who inhabited Britain before 
them ? How did the Scots come to Ireland, and when ? We look 
in vain for an answer in Skene. True, he speaks vaguely of an 
Iberian foundation, and, in 1862, he maintained that the Feinn 
were the ancient inhabitants of Ireland, Britain, and Lochlann 
(Denmark and Scandinavia), and in Scotland he argued that these 
were latterly the Cruthnigh or Picts. These Cruthnigh he saw 
•everywhere ; he filled Ulster with them, and " bagged" for them 
all the heroic figures of Gaelic myth and legend — Cuchulainn, 
Fionn, and the rest 

The Pictish succession he regarded in his earlier work as a 
variation of the ordinary Celtic or Gaelic tanist law. Among the 
•Gael a son did not necessarily succeed a father : if the son were 
young, or anyways incompetent, he did not succeed ab once, and 
in the latter case not at all The tanistear, or next heir, suc- 
ceeded, or an election was held, and the chief or king appointed 

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196 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

from the male meml>ers of the royal or chief family. In shorty 
succession was in the male line of the royal or chiefs family, but 
it was elective. A far out cousin might succeed, though it rarely 
was the case. This is far from being the Pictish rule. Their 
succession was through the females : a prince succeeded to the 
throne because his mother was royal through her ^mother. His 
heir was either his brother, by the mother's side, or his sister's 
son. In any case, the right of succession passed to his sister, 
whose son was the real heir. Her daughter again carried on the 
succession. This system of succession prevailed among the people 
as well ; all property descended through females. Now, what is 
the meaning of this extraordinary custom ? It is thoroughly non- 
Celtic, and indeed non-European in historic times otherwise. 
Such succession, however, is well known outside Europe among 
barbarian and savage tribes. The explanation given by many 
modern scholars is that the Picts were a non-Celtic and pre-Celtio 
race, still enduring in Scotland, and having a primitive marriage 
system, where only maternity was certain, and where exogamy, or 
marriage outside one's clan and name, prevailed. This theory is 
no doubt correct, save on one point : the Pictish language in 
historic times was Celtic, for the Celts had evidently conquered 
€ a pre- Celtic tribe and imposed their language on it, while many of 
the customs — especially the marriage customs — of the conquered 
race were allowed to survive. Skene is satisfied with explaining 
the custom as due to low ideas about marriage, and he therefore 
misses the ethnologic significance of it. In his early work, as I 
have said, he regards the custom as only a variety of the ordinary 
Celtic system of elective male succession ; it was merely a rule 
that the son of a former king could not occupy the throne ! 

In regard to Celtic philology, Skene belonged to the old 
popular school. He knew that p of Welsh interchanged with 
Gaelic c at times ; and we are told by Bede that the Koman wall 
end was called in Pictish Pean-fahel, where pean is the Pictish for 
" head," cognate with Welsh perm and Gaelic ceann. It can be 
shown that Pictish possessed the letter p ; old Gaelic had no such 
letter initial and rarely otherwise. Skene, therefore, missed the 
significance of pet or pit as a place-name prefix, the Gaelic of 
which is really cuid, older cuit. Another word which he did not 
appreciate was aber or ober, a confluence. Such is its meaning in 
Welsh ; but old Gaelic abar meant a " marsh," as it did in the 
name of Loch-aber. Minor mistakes in phonetics occur : in the 
Clan Chattan genealogy he has two such. First, he regards 
Cattan as standing for Cathan, from cath, war ; but the hard t. 

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Mr Skene versus Or Skene. 197 

-could never become th. The name is the same as that of cat, a 
cat. Similarly " Donald in Caimgilla," Donald the One-eyed, he 
thinks, in 1837, might be Donald from Cowal, where m becomes 
v ; in 1880, he deduces from this epithet Quhele, the name of the 
mystical Clan Quhele ! M'Gillivray he regards as M'Gillebride ; 
and the M'Nicols he takes from an ancestor, Krycul, where he 
shows that he did not know that n after c usually becomes r ; 
Mac Krycul is in fact Ma-cnicol. In regard to his Ossianic phil- 
ology, Dr Whitley Stokes says : — " When Mr Skene connects 
Adamnan's Kegio or Mons Cainle with the man's name Ainle, and 
the river name Ness with the man's name Naisi, and when he 
invents a place-name Arcardan in order to connect it with Ardan, 
he must excuse Celtic and indeed all other scholars from declining 
to follow him." 

Skene also allows himself to be over-ridden by a theory. He 
discovered in 1837 that "captain" was a title borne in the 15th 
and 16th centuries by certain Highland chiefs, notably Duncan 
Mackintosh, captain of Clan Chattan, and Allan Cameron, captain 
of Clan Cameron. He maintained that these were cases where 
the oldest cadet family had ousted the true chief's line ; the 
Mackintoshes ousted the Macphersons from the lands and leader- 
ship of Clan Chattan, -although by descent both belonged to the 
Macphyersons. Similarly the Camerons of Lochiel ousted the 
4 Macmartins. In all these cases there is also a myth about the 
usurping family marrying the heiress of the old line. Hence they 
were " captains," not " chiefs" of the clans. This theory in a 
milder form obtains a place in " Celtic Scotland." The awkward 
fact that Sir John M'Farlane, chief of his clan in the latter part 
of the 15th century, calls himself " Capitaneus de Clan Pharlane" 
is explained away on Skene's favourite method of "it appears," 
which latterly develops into a certainty, "It appears" that 
M 4 Farlane had no natural right to the title of chief ! It simply 
"appears" so because Skene's theory demands it. There is no 
break in the M'Farlane genealogy, and to hint and argue so is 
highly unscientific, if really honest at all. Now, the truth in this 
matter is very simple. The Celtic clan chief was in proper Gaelic 
called t&iseach ; this we know from Irish sources and from the 
Book of Deer. The regular Latin translation of this was 
capitanus, sometimes fnrther explained as capitanus sive praecipuns 
dux. The mediaeval English for this also varied; first it was 
simply "captain," though in Ayrshire the Gaelic title of cerih 
cineil, " Kenkennol," Major's caput progenei (Gaelic ceann-cinne), 
appears in the 14th century. Thereafter it was " captain, chief 

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198 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

and principal man," and, in the 1587 Act, we have the roll of 
clans who " hes capitanes, cheiffs, and chiftanes whome on they 
depend." The fact is, the word " chief" meant the " head," and 
meant no more a Highland chief than the corresponding French 
chef then meant "cook." Both are historic developments ; the word 
"chief" itself has a life history which must be studied ere an 
argument can be built on it. About the first use of the term 
" clan" borrowed into English was its application to Clan Chattan 
and the North Inch of Perth — certainly its first literary appear- 
ance, though it occurs once or twice in charters before that. 
What led Skene astray was the fact that captain meant more 
than chief in the 16th century; it was applied to the leader of 
the clan when the chief was a minor or an incapable. Skene 
concluded rashly that this was always its meaning, and hence 
tried to bolster up his theories about Clan Chattan by antedating 
the 16th century extended use of "captain." 

His views about the Picts differ slightly between 1837 and 
1876 : the Midland Picts (of Atholl) disappear by 1876, for these 
were Picts settled in Meath, as later knowledge disclosed. The 
Southern Picts have more prominence in 1837, and he regards 
them as the Piccardaich of the Annals, incorrectly of course ; but 
in one point the 1837 book is better than "Celtic Scotland." It 
allows that the Dalriads conquered the Southern Picts in 843 ; 
that, in fact, was the Scottic Conquest. The Northern Picts were 
unaffected by this conquest, went on speaking their native Gaelic, 
and became the ancestors of the modern Highlanders. The 
Southern Picts were linguistically different also in 1837, for Bede 
says the Pictish was a language, one of five, and Skene restricts 
the application of this to Southern Pictland. The philologic 
mistake of calling the Northern Picts Cruithen-tuath is also made 
(vol. I., p. 63), an expression which means " Pictish-nation :" this 
mistake was of course duly repeated in the late history of Inver- 
ness County. " Celtic Scotland" knows of no Scottic Conquest of 
843 in Southern Pictland : it has much to say of a Pictish con- 
quest of a hundred years earlier in Dalriada ; a change of dynasty 
was all that occurred in 843, and a change in the law of sucession 
— so we have it in " Celtic Scotland." 

The history of the period from 843 to 1 057 is in the 1837 work 
ostentatiously taken from new sources — Norse Sagas chronologised 
by Irish Annals. And the result is really wonderful. It is a 
small detail that he insists on two Kings Malcolm from 1004 to 
1034, one of whom dies in 1029. He discovered later that this 
was only the mormaer of Moray, dignified by the Annals into the 

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Mr Skene versus Or Skene. 


" King of ilba," just like his predecessor Finlay, who died in 1020 
as " King of Alba" (Book of Leicester Annals). The exaggerations 
and confusions of the Sagas are taken seriously, and the history 
of Northern Scotland is re-written from them. " Celtic Scotland" 
accepts the native annals, which are really older, more authentic, 
and more local to the events than the Sagas. The result is 
accuracy, and a good full account of events from the Scottic 
Conquest to the death of Macbeth. He acknowledges his earlier 
error about the Kings Malcolm in " Celtic Scotland," I., p. 400. 

His defence of Macpherson's " Ossian" in 1837 is different from 
that of 1862, and there is no mention of the Fingalian heroes in 
"Celtic Scotland." He proves to his own satisfaction, in 1837, 
that Macpherson agrees with the old Irish Annals ; he knows 
better in 1862, and consequently abuses old Irish chronology as 
artificial. What Macpherson really did was to adopt the Irish 
kings' names which he found in the ballads and in Toland's 
" Druids," and make a kingly system of his own. He had not 
read either Keating or Flaherty, though both books were pub- 
lished before his "Fingal" (1762). His errors were pointed ^out 
at once, and he attempts to correct them in " Temora" (1763). 
Skene compares his kings' list with that of the Annals : — 

Irish System. 
Conn, K. of Temora 






Macpherson and 


Conar, a Gael 

from Alba 


Cormac, killed by 

final list. 








I add Maepherson's final and real list as a third column. Such 
is Maepherson's agreement with the Irish Annals ! And Skene 
adds that Tigernach, the annalist, does not mention Cairbre's 
father ; so he may have been of the For Bolgs, as Macpherson has 
it! No such nonsense appears in 1862. There, however, he 
identifies the Feinn with the early Picts, and finds them also in 
Denmark and Norway, in Britain and in Ireland. That he 
changed his view on the whole subject is clear from the significant 
silence of " Celtic Scotland." 

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200 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The 1837 work unfortunately has the old account of the Celtic 
Church, where of course it became the Culdee Church, and he 
regarded it then as episcopal. Within the last two years histories 
have appeared where these earlier views are repeated. Yet the 
second volume of " Celtic Scotland" is entirely devoted to the 
Celtic Church, and it is an excellent account of it, under the 
guidance of Bishop Reeves. There the Culdees are shown to be 
anchorites of the ninth century or thereabouts, gradually becoming 
amalgamated into collegiate bodies, somewhat after the fashion of 
the canons of the Continental Church. There was never a Culdee 
Church. The early Celtic Church was monastic purely — tribal 
monasteries, with a presbyter or priest abbot, and a bishop or two 
kept on the premises for the sake of ordination. In doctrine it 
nothing differed from Rome, and in ritual it differed little, and 
that only because it grew old-fashioned when the Anglo-Saxons 
cut Ireland and the Cymry off from the Continent in the sixth 

The account given in 1837 of old Celtic polity is obsolete. I 
have already remarked on the errors in regard to Celtic and 
Pictish succession. The title of mdrmaer is written maormdr, an 
error which persists in nearly every work thereafter, except 
"Celtic Scotland." The mdr or "great" comes first: it practi- 
cally meant " earl," and was translated by the Norse jarl ; but 
even to the last Skene does not seem to have noticed that it still 
persists in the general Gaelic title of moirear, which translates 
"lord." He blundered also in regard to the next rank to the 
mormatr : this was the toiseach or clan chief. Skene made him, 
in 1837, the head of the eldest cadet family of a clan, who, on 
occasions, might be "captain" of the clan. The title is now 
obsolete. Skene's early errors on these points were also lately 
reproduced in Highland clan histories. Another title over which 
he stumbled in 1837 is the imaginary one of abthane. Fordun 
spoke of Abthane Crinan, and historians have reproduced the error 
ever since till Skene put it right in " Celtic Scotland." The title 
is a popular derivative from abthania or older Gaelic apdaine, 
" abbey-lands," which of course is derived from the title abbat. 
The Appins of modern Gaelic topography attest to its old pre- 
valence and meaning. There never was an "abthane;" the title 
was that of " abbot." The old ideas about it will be found in 
" Highlanders," vol. 2, pp. 129-132; the corrected ideas are best 
given in the second volume of " Celtic Scotland." 

In a note at page 365 of Vol. Three of "Celtic Scotland," 
Skene says : — "In the main the author has seen little reason to 

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Mr Skene versus Dr Skene. 201 

alter the distribution of the clans in an earlier work, The High- 
landers of Scotland, published in 1837, to which the reader is 
referred for their detailed history." The earlier work is more 
systematic and definite ; the later work is more scientific, 
inasmuch as it avoids the excessive and, at times, inaccurate 
classifying of the 1837 book. The Gallgaidheal or Norse-Gaels 
occupy a promieut place in the early book, spreading over Western 
Scotland and Gallowav, including the diocese of Dunkeld ; and 
they were Picts also ! Picts and Norse mixed. The Gall- 
gaidheal actually were the Norse-ruled, Norse-mixed, and probably 
paganised inhabitants of Man, Galloway, Arran, Bute, Kintyre, 
and the Argyle seaboard — the outer isles being purely Norse, and 
known as Innse Gall or Isles of the Foreigners. The great Mac- 
donald clan sprang from the Gall-gaidheal, as Skene says. Their 
seat was Lorn — the Norse Dali or " Dales," where the Orkney 
Saga places King Somerled ; and under that chieftain they 
acquired the rule of the northern half of the Gall-gaidheal from 
the King of Man and the Isles, who, however, retained Man and 
the Hebrides (Skye and the Long Island), and was the original 
44 Ri Finn-ghall," or King of the Hebridean Norse, proudly 
claimed by the Macdonald chiefs. The Lordship of Garmoran 
also discreetly takes up small space in "Celtic Scotland," for 
therein the clans are treated by their separate localities, little or 
no grouping being attempted. 

The Macdonald history is weak and confused in the 1837 
work ; in " Celtic Scotland" it is clear and accurate, thanks to 
Gregory's "Western Isles," which is duly acknowledged. Somer- 
led's grandson Somerled, who succeeds him in 1 837, is not found 
in the 1880 work : Dugall, the eldest son, there succeeds his 
father in the cradle of the race in north Argyle ; Reginald succeeds 
in Kintyre and the Isles, and the third son somewhere northwards, 
the latter and his family being finally obliterated by Reginald and 
his sons. This is no doubt correct. Another great improvement 
n the Macdonald and Macdougall genealogy also takes place in 
1880. The earlier book maintained that the Macdougalls of Lorn 
were descended from Dugall, son of Reginald, not Dugall, eldest 
son of Somerled, which deprived that clan of being the eldest 
representatives of the race of Somerled — the real u Clann 
Somairli," as the Book of Lecan truly calls them. Skene was led 
astray by the MS. of 1450, which, as well as its guide the Book 
of Ballimote, curiously makes Dugall second son of Reginald, son 
of Somerled. The Book of Lecan, which is equal in age with the 
•other, gives the correct genealogy and the most accurate naming 

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202 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

of the Clan Macdougall in calling them clan Somerled. " Celtic* 
Scotland" more than once records the facts, but never hints at the 
grave error of 1837, which has lately found a place in the history 
of Clan Donald. To clinch the argument, the earlier book main- 
tains that King Ewin of Argyle, undoubtedly descended from 
Dugall, son of Somerled, diod without male heir, Alexander of 
Argyle being not his son, but a descendant of Dugall Mac 
Reginald. " This," he adds, " is confirmed by the chartuiary of 
Cupar, for the manuscript [1450] makes Alexander de Ergadia, 
the son of Dnncan, son of Dugall, son of Reginald ; and in that 
chartuiary Duncanns de Lornyn witnesses a charter of the Earl of 
Atholl of the lands of Dumfallandy, dated certainly between 1258 
and 1270, while during that period Ewen was in possession of the 
lands of this branch of the family." So specious is this argument 
that Mr A. Brown, in his " Memorials of Argyle," says that the 
Cupar Chartuiary gives Alexander's genealogy as above (son of 
Duncan, <fec.) Alas, the Duncan de Lornyn in the Cupar charter 
was no Argyle magnate : he was laird of Lornie, near Perth ! 

It goes without saying that in 1837 Skene regarded the Glen- 
garry family as the senior and premier family of the Clan Donald 
— iu short, Glengarry was chief of the Macdonalds. Ranald, son 
of John of Isle, was the common ancestor of Clanranald and 
Glengarry, and he or his family got or acquired the lordship of 
Garmoran, with its seat of Castle-Tiriru, his mother having been 
heiress thereof. Skene and Gregory make him the youngest son 
of Amy M'Rory and John of Isle ; but M'Vurich, with more proba- 
bility, ranks him first, and, besides, shows that he was steward of 
the Isles under his aged father, and tutor of his half-brother 
Donald, to whom he handed over his patrimony honourably, though 
the men of the Isles wanted him to continue himself as chief. 
Anyway, from his sons, AJlan and Donald, were descended the rival 
houses of Clanranald and Glengarry. Skene regarded Donald as- 
eldest, and proves it by asseverating that this was no other than 
the Donald Balloch who led the clan at Inverlochy in 1431 L 
" Celtic Scotland " knows better than this. M'Vurich represents 
Donald, ancestor of Glengarry, as dying in 1420, which is likely 
correct, eleven years before Inverlochy. Besides, we know well 
the life-history of Donald Balloch. The tradition and historic fact 
are that Allan was eldest son of Ranald ; he had, besides, the 
cradle estates of the M'Rorys, always a proof of primogeniture. 

In fact, Skene was unlucky in his choice of sides in a clan 
controversy ; he was swayed by his feelings, and by what ought to 
have been, but unfortunately was net. The Macneills of Barra, no 

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Mr Skene versus Or Skene. 203 

doubt, ought to have been and to be chiefs of the clan, but in 1530 
we find that Torkil Macneill of the Gigha family is addressed by 
the Crown as " chief and principal " of the name. Skene was all 
for the Barra family. He is on the Duart side in the case of the 
Macleans, where, no doubt, he is right as to the seniority of the 

two brothers whence Duart and Lochbuie are descended, but 1 

As regards the Macleods of Dunvegan and Lewis, Skene's first 
mistake is to regard them as mainland clans at all ; but he finds 
them first mentioned in connection with Glenelg and Assynt 
respectively in 1343, and concludes that they belonged to his 
great Garmoran lordship lot. Here tradition and geography agree 
admirably with philology. The Macleod names are exclusively 
Norse. Tradition connects them first with Lewis and Harris as 
their cradle, and the Norsemen as their ancestors, while historic 
geography demands that Lewis is their place of origin and spread. 
If so, the Macleods of Lewis, as the older writers held, such as the 
Mackenzie historians and Buchanan of Aucbmar, were the eldest 
cadets as having the family " nest." Skene, however, says there 
is no " vestige of authority " for the Macleods being Norse : if by 
authority he means charters and contemporary documents, he is 
right ; otherwise, he is wrong, for there is plenty room for scientific 
inference. Of course he decides for the Dunvegan Macleods as 
being the elder branch : they should be so, on the principle of the 
survival of the fittest, which seems to have swayed Skene here. 
Gregory refuses to decide the case ; Skene, " Old," has no word on 
the subject, though he is still for the Celtic descent of the clan. 

Wrong or nearly so in the case of Macdonalds v. Macdougalls, 
Clanranald v. Glengarry, Macneills of Barra against those of 
Gigha, the Lewis Macleods v. those of Dunvegan, his champion 
perversity appears in the case of the Clan Chattan. Even in his 
" Celtic Scotland" he shows a sad lack of critical insight — 
especially in the "Captain" argument already referred to — 
together with a lack of knowledge of the history and rise of the 
Mid-Highland clans. The poor genealogies of MS. 1450 have to 
suffer much overhauling. Skene manages to connect the second 
genealogy of the Clan Chattan given in the MS. with the family 
of the Mormaers of Moray through Head, son of Nectan (circ. 
1100), whence the Mac-heths, the possessors of, and claimants to, 
the earlship of Moray and even the throne of Scotland. In the 
MS. the name is Tead, which Skene regards as the later name 
Shaw. His son Sween is father of Muirech, the parson, whence 
Mac " pherson" and M'Vurich, circ. 1173, whose son the 
" Camgilla" gives his name, even in " Celtic Scotland," to Clan 

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204 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Quhele! The genealogy in 1837* offered to the Macphersons is 
very unlike the one they believe in themselves ; but neither in 
1837 nor in 1880 does Skene trouble himself with the genealogy 
given by the 17th century seanachies for the Macphersons : here, 
and elsewhere, he is above that sort of thing, if his theory 
demands it. In " Celtic Scotland" this genealogy is mercifully 
assigned to the "old" Mackintoshes, and the other is assigned 
to the present Rothiemurchus and Moyhall lot. The Mac- 
phersons get recompensed by being referred to Duncan Persoun 
(1438), a fellow-prisoner with the Earl of Ross in Tantallon Castle ! 
Their further connection with Clan Chattan he shows to be that 
one of the " old " Mackintoshes or Shaws of Dalnavert married a 
daughter of Kenneth Mac-vuireach — the same Muireach as the 
" old" Shaw himself is descended directly from ! — who is Fordun's 
leader of two thousand in 1427, viz., Kenneth More. If Skene 
thinks this Kenneth More was ancestor of Cluny, and had two 
thousand men in 1427, he has much misread Highland history. 
In 1837 Kenneth More was the ancestor of the Mackenzies, also a 
guess, but possibly not far wrong. Kenneth More's son is 
Duncan Persoun, who is in gaol with the Earl of Ross in 1438. 
Both Duncan and Kenneth are in the Macpherson genealogies ; 
but that Duncan Persoun had any connection with Kenneth More 
is highly improbable. The whole thing is unscientific guesswork. 
In 1837, the combatants at the North Inch in 1396 were 
Mackintoshes and Macphersons, the former Clan Quhele, the latter 
Clan Ha or Heth. In 1880 the combatants come to be the 
Mackintoshes and Camerons, the former Clan Quhele (Clann a* 
Cham-gille ! ! !) and the latter Clan Ha, that is, Clann Mhaol-an- 
fhaidh, from Maol-an-fhaidh, Prophet's Servant, which he thinks 
might be curtailed to Clann-an-fhaidh. The name Maol-an-fhaidh 
was a Cameron one, and the M'Gillonies or M'Lonvies were there- 
from, but it can hardly be the origin of Clan Ha, simply because 
the true name is Mael-anfaid, "servant of storm," with the 
accent on the an of an/aid, not on /aid. How Skene 
exactly stands in regard to genealogy when he has married Shaw- 
Mackintosh M'Vurich, descended of the " Cam-gilla," and direct 
representative of the "Old" Mackintoshes, to the daughter of 
Kenneth More M'Vurich, seeming chief of the " Old" Clan Chattan, 
and descendant also directly of M uirech the Parson, I cannot tell ; 
it is a pretty bungle. All he says about the chiefship in 1880 is 
in a note on page 329 : " The Clan Vuireach or Old Clan Chattan 
seldom recognised the authority of the Captain " — Mackintosh, to 

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Mr Skene versus Or Skene. 205 

As the matter is of the highest importance for the early history 
of Northern Scotland, I will in conclusion endeavour to give what 
appears to be the real history, checked by native and Irish 
chronicles, of 

The Scottic Conquest op 843. 

When Bede closes his history in 731, he tells us that the four 
nations inhabiting Scotland are then at peace. The Picts have a 
treaty of peace with the Angles ; the Scots, satisfied with their 
own territories, neither plot nor combine against the Angles ; and 
the Britons throughout Scotland and England are helpless. But 
scarce a year had passed since the nations of the Picts and Scots 
had each passed through the stress of civil war and interna- 
tional fight. In Dalriada the Cinel Gabran had rightfully the 
supremacy of Dalriada as descended from the elder son of Ere ; 
but the Cinel Lorn asserted claims to the kingship, and made 
them good, thus making Dalriada a miniature Ireland, where 
kings were elected alternately — or, it should be, alternately — from 
the Northern and Southern O'Neills. The Cinel Gabran ruled 
from 503 to 675, seemingly without interruption; but in 675 
Ferchar Fada, of the Bouse of Lorn, became King of Dalriada, 
doubtless not by election, but by the sword. Adamnan (circ. 
700) records the low ebb of Cinel Cabran, which Columba had 
prophesied Ferchar died in 697, and his two sons succeeded 
him, Selbach, the latter son, being king "off and on" for some 25 
years, and a powerful king, too. Curiously enough, he is noticed 
as king in Flann's " Synchronisms" (12th century) only. In 725 
his son Dungal was ejected from his throne, and the rival house 
ruled in the person of Eochaidh, son of Eochaidh, who managed to 
keep his position, though old King Selbach left his monastery to 
oust him. Eochaidh died as " Ri Dalriada" in 732. 

In Pictland we know nothing of the striving dynasties ; we 
know only the kings' names, and the districts they represented 
more or less. Nectan MacDerili, famed in the pages of Bede as 
the first Pictish king that conformed to Rome, had left the 
monastery to which he had retired, and in 727 joined in the civil 
fray to oppose the formidable King of Fortrenn, Angus MacFergus. 
Angus had already, in two battles that year, completely over- 
thrown Alpin, King of the Picts, who himself was a usurper, for he 
had previously expelled King Drust, Nectan's enemy (725). 
Nectan and Angus met at ths Lake of Lochy, possibly at the upper 
end of Loch Tay, and Nectan was defeated. King Drust then 
resumed his throne ; him, too, Angus encounjtered and slew in 728. 

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206 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The loss of a fleet of 150 Pictish ships is recorded, evidently 
foundered in a storm. To add to the confusion, the men of 
Dalriada intervened in the proceedings, and the Picts were con- 
quered by them at Murbulg in 730. The last fight in the Pictish 
Civil War was in the same year between Brude, son of Angus, and 
Talorgan MacCongus, no doubt representing the Northern Picts, 
who was defeated, but escaped. 

We may pause here to consider the extent of territories denoted 
by Pictland and Dalriada respectively. The Pbts were mainly 
divided into two districts, one of which had for its minimum area 
the district of Fortrenn (Fife, Kinross, and Clackmannan), 
but which, at its best, extended from the Forth and Roman Wall 
along the East Coast to Aberdeen, Magh-Chircinn, or Mearns, 
forming the part most important of it next to Fortrenn. It 
included also eastern Perthshire. In the third century classical 
writers called the people Maeatae ; in the fourth, Vecturiones, 
which has been happily corrected by Professor Rhys into Vertu- 
riones, or Men of Fortrenn ; and Adamnan, no doubt, refers to 
the district in speaking of the Miathi. Bede calls them practically 
Cismontane Picts, as opposed to the Northern Picts, those beyond 
the Grampians. In the third and fourth centuries the second 
nation of Picts dwelling in western Perth — Athole — and the North 
are called Caledonians. The Dve-Caledonii, or Bi-Caledonians, 
of Ptolemy, may have meant that the tribe was separated into two 
by the Grampians. 

The extent of the Scottic power is a more difficult matter to 
determine. We must banish from our minds the notion that the 
Dalriadic colony of 503, under the sons of Ere, was the first Gaelic 
invasion of Scotland. Conquests were made in the third century 
along the whole coast of Britain, settlements being even made in 
Wales, though under Roman dominion. In the fourth and fifth 
centuries the Scots and Picts were allied in harassing the Roman 
province ; and it is then that the Gaelic settlements in Wales 
mostly took plase. We may legitimately infer that the Isles and 
portions of the western mainland of Scotland were then taken by 
the Scots. Argyle, or Oirir-Ghaidheal, "Coast of the Gael," 
extended from Kintyre to Lochbroom, as ancient charters attest ; 
but Dalriada was confined to Argyle. Aedan, son of Gabran 
{573-605), annexed part of Perthshire, and his sons fell in battle 
in the Mearns (Circinn, Adamnan's Miathi). They appear to have 
possessed or claimed most of Dumbarton, Menteith, and Strath- 
earn. How much the Gaelic Scots pressed on the Picts in the far 
north it is impossible to say; but the earlier colonies were 

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Mr Skene versus Dr Skene. 207 

evidently more northerly, and made to move northward by the 
Dalriads ; and their dialect is still remembered in the northern 
dialect of Gaelic as opposed to the southern — the dialect of 
Dalriada and its conquered province of Perth. 

Muredach, grandson of Ferchar Fada, assumed the Chiefship 
of Lorn in 732, and seemingly also the Kingship of Dalriada, as 
be is named in the Kings' list. But Dnngal, son of Selbach, was 
active. In the same year a Scottish fleet was sent to help the 
Irish King, and seemingly Brude, the Pictish King's son, either 
joined, or was on the sea. Anyway Dungal dragged him from 
sanctuary in Tory Isle ; war in any case ensued ; a battle was 
fought at Callender between Dalriada and Fortrenn, where 
Talorgan, son of Fergus, put to flight another grandson of Ferchar 
Fada. Angus in person invaded the district of Dalriada, took 
Dunadd, burnt Creic (?), and captured Dungal and his brother, 
wasting the country as well. The date of this event is 735. 

Angus was a "sanguinary tyrant," as an English chronicle has 
it ; and, as a consequence, we need not wonder that Talorg, son of 
Congus, who fought in Mearns against him, on being betrayed into 
the hands of the " Piccards" was drowned (733) — a fate which in 
738 also befell Talorgan Mac Drostan, King of Athole, at Angus's 
own hauds. These "vere the leaders of the Northern Picts. 
Angus's brave but turbulent son, Brude, died in 735, shortly after 
the Dalriad raid. In 740 Angus again visited Dalriada, and gave 
it a " smiting" (percussio), as the old annalist has it. But evil 
days were in store for this powerful and restless warrior. War 
broke out between the Picts and Britons in 749, aad a battle was 
fought at Mugdock, on the Dumbarton borders, wherein fell 
Talorgan, Angus's brother, amidst great slaughter of the Picts ; 
and the annalist adds the significant remark, "Ebb of Angus's 
sovereignty," for the wane of his power had come. Internal 
dissensions again broke' out in Southern Pictland ; a battle was 
fought in the year 751 in the " Strath" of Mearns, where fell 
a chief with the well-known name of Brude Mac Mailcon. Possibly 
this was another attack upon Angus by the Northern Picts. 
Simeon of Durham records that Eadbert, the Anglic King, and 
Angus of Pictland joined forces against the Britons, advancing as 
far as Dumbarton Rock, where they received the surrender of the 
Britons, but the conquering army was nearly all destroyed in 
returning homewards (756). Angus died in 760, styled " King of 
the Picts ;" but his brother, who succeeded him, died in 762 
merely as King of Fortrenn. This dynasty had then shrunk to its 
former measure of power. 

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208 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The "devastation" of 735 and the "smiting" of 740 passed 
over Dalriada, as did similar invasions of Scotland at the hands of 
the English in later times. The Cinel Lorn ruled till 747. We 
are tcld that Muredach grandson of Ferchar Fada assumed the 
rule of Lorn in 732, but the King of that house given in the Latin 
lists is Ewen, son of Ferchar Fada, who ruled from about 732 — 
the date of Eochaidh Mac Eochaidh's death — till 742, when the 
lists recognise the Kingship of Muredach. The latter is succeeded 
by his son, Ewen ; and then we are ou the firm ground of refer- 
ence by the annalists in regard to the next King, Aed Finn, son of 
Eochaidh, of the Cinel Gabran, who succeeded in 747, and whose 
death as King of Dalriada is recorded in the Annals of Ulster 
under 777. He was evidently a powerful monarch, but the only 
incident of his reign recorded is a w*ar with the Picts in 767. 
" War in Fortrenn," says the annalist, " between Aed and 
Kenneth." *This appears to prove that Aed had a good hold in 
Western Perthshire. On his death in 777 he was succeeded by 
his brother, Fergus, whom the annals record as dying in 780, 
" King of Dalriada." The Annals of Ulster, which forms so valu- 
able a check on the king lists, unfortunately records no purely 
Dalriadic event from 780 till 857, the death of Kenneth Mac- 
Alpin. After Fergus the Latin lists enter Selbach, son of Ewen, 
the Lorn King who died in 747, as King for twenty-four years ; 
then Eochaidh the Venomous, son of Aed Finn, for thirty years, 
his name appearing in all the lists save in the Albanic Duan (but 
placed by Flann next to Fergus) ; thereafter the Latin lists 
of the 12th and 13th centuries alone have at this point 
Dungal, son of Selbach, for seven years ; and Alpin, son of 
Eochaidh, for three years — which brings us to the year 843, and 
to Kenneth Mac Alpin. Flann, however, followed by the Albanic 
Duan, places Dungal and Alpin about 1 00 years earlier, evidently 
making Dungal the son of the great Sealbach and Alpin brother 
of King Eochaidh MacEochaidh, who died in 732. There is no 
good reason for doubting the correctness of the Latin lists, 
especially as the later Alpin must have existed, as he was father of 
the historic Kenneth. 

Meanwhile in Pictland events of importance had taken place. 
Brude, brother of Angus, died King of Fortrenn in 762. His 
successor was Kenneth, King of the Picts, who, as was seen, 
fought with Aed Finn in Fortrenn, with what result we know not. 
The annals record his death in 774. Alpin, son of Wroid (774- 
779), Drust, son of Talorgan (779-'83), and Talorgan, son of Angus 
(783-786), follow one another in quick succession in the lists^ 

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Mr Skene versus Dr Skene. 209 

Only two entries occur in the Ulster Annals for these years, and 
they both concern the year 779. The one records the death of 
Alpin, who by mistake is made King of the Saxons (compare the 
Saxon Alfwin); the other states that Dubh-talorg, King of the 
Cismontane Picts, " perished." Skene thinks that Talorgan, the 
last king mentioned, was the son of King Angus, and that he was 
therefore a usurper, having no right by Pictish succession law to 
the throne. The next King bore the very Gaelic name of Conall, 
son of Tadg, or Connell MacTeague ; his father was doubtless a 
Dalriad or Scot. Civil war broke out again, if it was not chronic, 
in 788. Conall was defeated, but escaped to Dalriada, and the 
conqueror, Constantine, son of Fergus, reigned in his stead. Conall 
himself was afterwards, in 806, slain in Kintyre, by one Conall 
MacAedan. It was in the early years of Constant ine's reign over 
the Picts that the Norsemen and Danes appeared in the northern 
and western seas. They attacked the Western Isles in 793, and 
laid them waste. Iona escaped till 801, when it was burned and 
ravaged, and in 805 the whole community of 68 persons were put 
to the sword. Constantine is said to have founded the Church of 
Dunkeld, possibly in view of the loss of Iona as an ecclesiastical 
centre. He died in 820 : the record calls him King of Fortrenn 
then. He was succeeded by his brother Angus, who reigned till 
833, when the Annals of Ulster again record the title as King of 
Fortrenn. Confusion now reigned among the Picts. Drust, son 
of Constantine, contrary to the Pictish law of succession, tried to 
rule, but the rightful heir apparently was Talorgan, son of Wthoil, 
and there was a corjoint reign for some four years. Alpin, the 
Scot, according to the late chronicles, took advantage of this state 
of things, attacked the Picts at the Easter solemnities, and 
defeated them (834) ; but, elated with victory, he again engaged 
them a few weeks later, and was defeated, losing his life thereby. 
Skene puts the scene of this battle at Pitelpie, or Pit-Alpin, near 
Dundee. The next King of Fortrenn was Eoganan, son of 
Angus, who ruled from 836 to 838. The distracted and tottering 
kingdom of Pictland — if such a thing now existed as " kingdom" 
or common action between the Northern and Southern Picts — 
received its final coup from the Norsemen or Danes in 838. The 
simple record of the Annals of Ulster is here given : the tragedy 
has to be read between the lines as usual — " Battle by the 
Gentiles against the men of Fortrenn, in which fell Eoganan, son 
of Angus, and Bran, son of Angus, and Aed, son of Boanta ; and 
almost countless others were slain." Kenneth Mac Alpin took 
advantage of the distracted staije of Pictland, and some authorities 


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210 Gaelic Society of Inverness* 

have it that he grasped the Pictish supremacy in 838 after the 
Danish defeat. The Kings' lists give two further monarchs for 
Pictland — Wrad, son of Bargoit, for three years, and Brude (Bred 
in the lists), one year. Kenneth united the Picts and Scots in 
843 in one kingdom of Scotia, then and for some time thereafter 
known to outsiders, however, as Pictland, as a witness of which 
we have the Pentland Firth, Norse Pettland, that is Pictland or 
Scotland Firth, and the Annals of Ulster record Kenneth's death 
in 857 as King of the Picts. Kenneth had some struggles with 
his Pictish subjects, it is said, for the first seven years of his 
reign, but thereafter he ruled in peace. 

The immediate cause of the collapse of the Pictish power was, 
no doubt, the defeat and damage inflicted by the Danes. The 
kingdom was also torn by civil dissension, possibly eaused by the 
law of succession to the throne. Heirship was traced through the 
mother, not the father, as I pointed out already. A king's son 
could not succeed him, for the right lay in the King's mother, 
and it passed from her to her daughter. In fact, the heir to the 
iing was his own brother or the son of his sister. Pictish 
Princesses married outsiders often — in fact were exogamists ; 
possibly they were queens of British Strathclyde or Dalriada, or 
the outside Princes may have had them as " hand-fast" wives on 
a sojourn or in exile in Pictland. Thus, Talorgan (657-661) was 
son of Eanfred, an Anglic Prince, son of Ethelfred, King of 
Anglia, himself afterwards King of Northumbria. He was an 
exile among the Picts when he fell in with the Royal Princess. 
The next two Kings— Gartnait (661-667) and Drust (667-674) 
— were sons of Domhnall or Donald, a Dalriadic or Scottic 
name, and no doubt a Prince of the Scots. The next King 
we may, without any great doubt, regard as the son of the King 
of Alclud or Dumbarton, viz., Brude, son of Bili (674-695), Bili 
being the father of the British King Owen, who killed Domnall 
Brecc in 641. In fact Nennius censures Ecfrid, the Anglian 
King, for attacking Pictland in the last half of the 7th century, 
calling it an " uncousinly" act. This one-sided exogamy must 
have been a source of weakness from making the Kings too 
friendly with external states ; but it was still more so from a 
dynastic point of view, for it in fact destroyed dynasty founding : 
a man fought, not for his own, but for his sister's, house. 
Another weakness in the Pictish kingdom, so called, was its 
physical character : it was divided naturally by the Grampians 
into Northern and Southern Picts, and they certainly did not 
work harmoniously together. Evidently also there was a King of 
Athole who could give trouble. 

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Mr Skene versus Dr Skene. 211 

The real crux of the Pictish question, after all, is not the con- 
quest by the Scots : the difficulty is the rapid disappearance of the 
language, not a literary specimen, scarcely an ordinary word, of which 
remains. Every authority is now agreed that it was more or less 
different from both Gaelic and Welsh : even Skene, after seeing the 
-Cornish names in the Bodmin Manumissions in the first volume of 
the " Rev. Celtique," acknowledged that there was a British element 
in the list of Pictish Kings, but it was Cornish, not Welsh : in fact, 
the Picts between the Tay and the Forth, belonging as they did 
to the British Damnonii, were, he says, British by race in all pro- 
bability ; but the Northern Picts were pure Gael of Alban, direct 
ancestors of the modern Gael, language and all, he thinks. What 
greatly contributed to kill the Pictish so soon- was the fact of its 
not being a literary language like the Irish or Gaelic. Besides, the 
ecclesiastical language, outside Latin, was Gaelic. Skene's idea 
that the Columban monks and church were banished from Pictland 
is untenable in the light of subsequent faces : Nectan's " expulsio " 
of Colnmban monks in 716 was merely a burst of reforming zeal, 
and conformity with the Roman calendar would ensure non- 
molestation. We may be sure most conformed ; and in any case 
Iona itself conformed next year ! The pressure of the Norse on 
the West and North of Scotland (possibly on the East as well) also 
confined the range of both languages, and made the struggle, such 
as it was, all the shorter and keener. Like its sister language, the 
British of Strathclyde, 1 Pictish soon disappeared, leaving its impress 
strongly laid on the landscape of Pictland. Every available source . 
of information — names in the Kings' lists, other names, and the 
ancient and modern place-names — prove that the Pictish language 
was of the same Celtic branch as the Welsh. 

The reality of the conquest of the Picts by the Scots was never 
•doubted till the publication of Pinkerton's "Enquiry into the 
History of Scotland" in 1789. Pinkerton, working on the 
■"Albanic Duan," found that Dungal, son of Selbach, and Alpin, 
son of Eochaidh, were placed at about 730, while the Latin lists 
-end the line of Dalriadic Kings with these two names — Kenneth 
MacAlpin, son of the latter, becoming King of the united peoples. 
His idea was that the Dalriadic Kingdom came to an end in 730 
or thereabout, through the exertions of Angus Mac Fergus of 

1 Indeed it may be said that the British language of Strathclyde disappeared 
with greater suddenness and thoroughness than Pictish. Strathclyde had a 
separate existence till the middle of the tenth century, when the Scots 
absorbed it. Gaelic dominated the west coast from Renfrew through Ayr to 
Galway for several centuries thereafter ; and it has left its impress still strong 
on personal and place names there. 

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212 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Fortrenn, who, in short, wiped it out, and annexed the country to 
Pictland. It is a minor matter that he regarded the Picts as of 
Gothic descent : they were too gcod to be of Celtic descent ! 

Skene arrives at similar conclusions from these and other 
premises. Alpin he makes the last King of Dalriada. A battle, 
called the battle of Dun Cathmail, fought really by the Irish 
Cruithnigh, is transferred by him to Galloway, and there, in 741, 
he somehow manages to kill off A.lpin, the last Dalriadic King. 
Of course, Angus Mac Fergus is his hero : he conquered and 
annexed Dalriada. The awkward facts of Aed Finn's sovereignty 
of that country (747-777), and the still more awkward fact of 
Kenneth Mac Alpin, a Scot of Dalriada, becoming King of the 
unconquered Picts is as awkwardly got over. Aed " attempted to 
restore the Dalriadic Kingdom," and Alpin, father of Kenneth, 
" Scot by paternal descent," claims inter alios the Pictish throne 
in 834, and his son Kenneth, with the help of the Danes, makes 
good the claim ! Such, in brief, is Skene's answer. 

In the first place, Skene has misread the history of Angus Mac 
Fergus. An important sentence in the Annals of Ulster was mis- 
read by Dr O'Connor, and Skene has not got it in his extracts in 
the "Chronicles of the Picts and Scots." This is the remark 
which follows the account of the war between the Britons and 
Picts in 749, " Wane of the sovereignty of Angus " It is correctly 
given in Hennessey's new edition of the Annals. Besides, there is 
no indication in the Annals of any annexation of Dalriada or any- 
thing beyond an ordinary invasion, cruel of its kind. The 
Dalriads were more often the invaders than the Picts. Aed's war 
in Fortrenn in 767 is ample disproof of Skene's position : here we 
have the Scots at their old game of fighting east of Perthshire, as 
they did in the days of Aedan (573-605). 

Skene has not, as already said, shown high critical faculty in 
dealing with the Latin king's lists as against Flann's "Synch- 
ronisms" and the Arbanic Duan. The Latin lists bring the kings' 
names and reigns down to William the Lion, and Skene correctly 
regards the original list as composed about then. The best one is in 
the Colbertine fourteenth century MS., which Skene reproduces in 
fac-simile. This MS. contains the Pictish list of kings as well ; 
and it is amusing to note that, whereas the Pictish part is given 
as belonging to the tenth century, and given on the first page 
onwards, the Scottic part is relegated to page 130 and the 
twelfth century!. Some Latin lists, those followed by Fordun, 
place a King Maolduin after Donald Brecc (641), and in this they 
are right. In fact, Flann puts Donald's three brothers and two 

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Mr Skene versus Dr Skene. 213 

nephews between him and Ferchar Fada from 641 to 675. Flann 
Mainstrech died in 1056, and Skene regards the u Synchronisms " 
he quotes as belonging to Flann and to the eleventh century. 
But these " Synchronism^ " end in 1119, and can hardly be 
Flann's. Anyway they are valuable, but little discernment seems 
to have been exercised in choosing the kings' names : any leading 
prince seems to have got a place ; and the last five kings, if not 
more, before Kenneth MacAlpin were Pictish kings or princes 
shoved in much on the principle that Finlay, Macbeth's father, 
and Malcolm, his cousin, are recorded as " Kings of Alban " in the 
Irish Annals, in 1020 and 1029. 

Skene, however, makes much of the last kings given by Flann 
before Kenneth : it proves, he thinks, that the Pictish kings were 
also kings of Dalriada. It just proves that Flann's continuator 
was generous in his interpretation of what constituted " ri Alban." 
The pitiable mess made by the Albanic Duan in assigning them 
years of reign might have warned Skene that something was 
wrong. Thus Constantine, who really reigned in Pictland thirty 
years, is made in the Albanic Duan to reign only nine. The Duan 
is evidently founded on Flann, or Flann's sources ; but differs 
from Flann in giving the length of the reigns, and in omitting the 
great Selbach ; Eochaidh MacEochaidh ; Fergus, brother of Aed 
Finn ; and Eochaidh the Venomous. Skene, as we saw, regards 
it as having been written in Malcolm Ceannmore's time, but it is 
plainly a production of a much later age. In fact, it has far less 
value than the Latin lists from which it differs. Skene, however, 
regards itself and Flann as prior to the lists, which is undoubtedly 
a mistake in critical judgment. He simply repeats the same 
mistake as he made in 1837 in rejecting these native Latin lists 
and chronicles in favour of the Norse Sagas for the history of the 
period from 843 to 1057. The native chronicles after all turned 
out to be correct; and "Celtic Scotland" follows them for 
843—1057 : Why not for 731 to 843? 

Skene, in maintaining that the Picts absorbed the Scots, as 
against the old-established view that the Scots overcame the Picts, 
further held that the Pictish language and race still exist in the 
Highlands ; in short, Pictish was Gaelic. He appealed to the 
unlikelihood of such a disappearance of the language as almost to 
leave no trace, forgetting the similar disappearance of the British 
language of Strathclyde ; and by some antiquated philologising he 
proved that there was nothing to disappear, for the Gaelic and Pictish 
were one. The historical objection to his views is great: his 
theory runs counter to all the traditions and literature of the race. 

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214 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

In view of these, his theory is bizarre and revolutionary, yet so 
plausible is it that it now holds the field among Scottish scholars 
And the worst of it is, as I said, that every man that writes a local 
or county history accepts Skene's views a<s a matter of course, and 
does not seem to dream even that he is accepting views which are 
revolutionary and contrary to the historic material and traditionary 
lore of his country. 

4th FEBRUARY, 18V7. 

At the meeting this evening Mr David Boss, solicitor, Inverness 
and Rev. Charles M. Robertson, Inverness, were elected ordinary 
members of the Society. Thereafter Mr A. Macbain, M.A., read 
a paper contributed by Rev. John Kennedy, Arran, on "Some 
Unpublished Gaelic Ballads from the Maclagan MSS." The 
paper was as follows : — 



Many of our members who are interested in ancient Gaelic 
lore are more or less familiar with some of the contents of these 
MSS., although they may know very little regarding the collector 
of them In the Highland Society's " Report on the authenticity 
of the poems of Ossian," 1805, there are frequent references to 
these MSS. At pp. 153-156, we find that Maclagan helped Mac- 
pherson to get some well-known ballads. Mr Maclagan also 
made a valuable Ossianic collection for the Highland Society of 
Scotland, but it seems to have been lost. The materials from 
which he worked it were kept in his family, who kindly lent them 
to the editors of " Reliquiae Celticse," to make good the loss of the 
original. (See " Reliquiae Celtic®, " Vol. I., xiv.) Mr Maclagan 
contributed most of the Ossianic poetry in Gillies's collection 
(1786), and many other songs to be found in that work. There 
is much in the MSS. still unpublished, and the following poems 
arc only a few out of many, selected on the grounds of variety of 
theme. The following biographic sketch of this industrious 
collector of Gaelic poetry, taken from Rodger's "Scottish Min- 
strelsy," Vol. III., will doubtless be of interest to our members : — , 

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Unpublished Gaelic Ballads. 215 

" James Maclagan was the son of a small farmer at Ballechin,. 
in the parish of Logierait, Perthshire, where he was born in 17228, 
Educated at the University of St Andrews, he received licence as 
a probationer of the Established Church. Through the influence 
of the Duke of Atholl, he was appointed to the Chapel of Ease at 
Amulree, in Perthshire, and subsequently to the chaplainship of 
the 42nd Regiment, his commission to the latter office bearing 
date the 15th of June, 1764. His predecessor in the chaplainship 
was Dr Adam Ferguson, author of the " History of the Roman 
Republic," who was also a native of the parish of Logierait. 
Than Mr Maclagan few could have been better qualified for the 
duties of chaplain to a Highland regiment. He was intimately 
conversant with the language, character, and partialities of the 
Gael, and was possessed of much military ardour, as well as 
Christian devotedness. He accompanied the regiment to America, 
and was present in several skirmishes during the War of Inde- 
pendence. Anecdotes are still recounted of the humour and 
• spirit with which he maintained an influence over the minds of 
his flock ; and Stewart, in his " History of the Highlands," has 
described him as having essentially contributed to form the 
character of the Highland soldier, then in the novitiate 
of his loyalty and efficiency in the national service. In 1776, 
while stationed with his regiment in Glasgow, he had the 
, freedom of the city conferred on him by the Corporation. After 
discharging the duties of military chaplain during a period of 24 
years, he was in 1788 presented by the Duke of Atholl to the 
parish of Blair- Athole, Perthshire. He died in 1805, in the 
seventy-seventh year of his age. A pious and exemplary clergy- 
man, Mr Maclagan is still kindly remembered in the scene of his 
parochial ministrations. An accomplished Gaelic scholar, and 
with a strong admiration of the poetry of the Gael, he recovered, 
from the recitation of many aged persons large portions of the 
poetry of Ossian, prior to the publication of the collections of 
Macpherson. He composed some spirited Gaelic lyrics during the 
period of his connection with the army, but the greater portion of 
his poetry still remains in MS. A collection of Gaelic songs under 
his editorial superintendence, was published anonymously. 

" Mr Maclagan was of fair and ruddy complexion, and was 
under the middle stature. He was fond of humour, and his 
dispositions were singularly benevolent. In youth he was 
remarkable for his skill in athletic exercises. He married 
Catherine Stewart, daughter of the Rev. James Stewart, minister 
of Killin, the originator of the translation of the Scriptnres into 

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216 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

the Gaelic language. Of a family of four sous and three daughters, , 
one son and two daughters still survive ; his eldest son, the Kev. 
James Maelagan, D.D., was successively minister of the parishes 
of Auchtergaven and Kinfauns, in Perthshire, and ultimately 
Free Church Professor of Divinity in Aberdeen." 

Kann Obunn. 

Labhair rium am Bradan tapaidh — 
" 'S mionach cait th' agad ri d* bheist, 1 

Sud is cuile 2 bhuidhe, lacunn, 

'S ni nach taitneach le Righ &sg." 

Parson — 

" 'S maith a thachair thu ri parson, 8 
. So dubh' 4 gasda 's 6r an gleus." 

Salmon — 

" Sin an ceart ni a bhios agam, 
Dh' ain-de6in acuinn agus cleir." 
Thuirt mise — " Laimh dinars', cha'n fhaigh thu ; 

Tha teud righinn air a d&gh ; 
Tha mi fern sgath 5 aingidh laidir 

'S bidh cruaidh spairn againn mu 'n bh&st." 
Thug e ruathar — am bradan tapaidh — 

Chuile ghlac e ann a bhe*ul, 
Thug sinn fichead car W ghlac-shruth 

Thug mi mach e, 's chaidh e £ug. 

An Gille Dubh Gaolach. 
Mo ghille dubh gaolach eatrom acfuinneach, 
Sunntach, suairc gun ghruainn air aigneadh 
Is miannach learn do chomhradh taitneach 
Gu 'n siubhiainn fada o'm dhaoine leat. 

'S e mo ruin an t-digfhear suairce, 
' 'Shiubhias gleann is beinn is fuaran, 
Beith do choiliobh air do ghualainn, 
Shiubhlainn cuan is caolas leat. 

1 Dh&8t=bait. 
• 2 cuile =cuileag — fly. 

3 parson = probably the author, Rev. Mr Maelagan. 

4 dubh' = dubhan — hook. 
* sgath = somewhat. 

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Unpublished Gaelic Ballads. 217 

*S e mo ruin an Gaidheal rimheach, 
Beul gun bhruaidneal, is suairc a labhras ; 
Ge do dhiultain cuirteir Gallta, 
Shiubhlainn beinn is aonach leat. 

Faill ill o ro uill ho ro 

Faill ill o ro uill o ho 

Faill ill o ro uill ho ro 

Gur h-e mo ghille dubh gaolach e. 


Ghruagach 6g nan oir-chiabh faineach 
Modhail, beusach, ceillidh, narach, 
A ruin mo chl&mh, cha deanainn tair ort, 
Beith mi ghnath do t-inndraichinn. 

Deud mar chalice labhras suairce, 
Gruaidh mar ros aig oig-mhnai uasail, 
Do shiios mar nonain air Ion fuarain, 
B' e mo luaidh bhith sugradh riut. 

Do bheul cumhraidh mar an cainneal 
T* anail ur mar ubhla meala 
Tha do shuil mar dhruchd air bharrach 
Mo ruin geal thu, lubainn leat. 

Faill ill, <fcc, 

Gur i mo chaileag shugach i. 

Air Comhbao Bhax. Lb Tailbir am Muilb. 

'S coma leom na.mnathan fadhair, 
Nach gleadhadh an an-tlachd, 
Tha mo chluasan air fas bodhar, 
Le glodhar bhur cainte. 
Noise o chuaidh sibh o riaghailt 
Leigim srian le bhur n-aimhleas ; 
Teannuidh mi gu aite diomhair 
O mhio-thlachd bhur cainte. 

'S ann sud bha 'm firam, farum, 
Chiris, chairis chainte, 
Shaoileadh gach fear reachadh seachad 
Gu 'm bu chlach le gleann e ; # 

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218 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

N uair dh* eliigh an t-shipe, shoipe 
Am measg a' phrascain bhantrach 
Geodhlair air mnathan na tartraioh, 
'S droch fhasan a dh' ionnsuich iad. 

Dh' ionnsuich iad bhi beurrach, sgaiteach 

La fan t' ann an cainte, 

Gun aon t£(a) dhiubh 'gabhail suasadh, 

Is iad 's a bheirt cho coimh-dheis 

Ge do chairich an Riogh cail-dhreach orra 

Caoin air ascaoin thionntaidh iad, 

Mo cheud mollachd aig a' phaca 

Thr&g an tlachd air an-tlachd. 

Sin 'nuair thoisich iad da rireadh, 

*S shin iad air na h-armaibh, 

Tharruinn(g) t£(a) dhiubh cuigeal direach 

*S tapan mln-gheal, marrachunn 

An snath bu choile na 'n s\de, 

'S e gu sliobhta, ballachruinn, 

'N deis a tharruinn(g) as a* ghriosaich, 

Aig ro mhiad na h-argumaint. 

Sin 'nuair chunna bean na ceirtle 

Lasair ris an abhras, 

Dorn air bhuirbe *s air ghaisge, 

Air chaise 's air chainte ; 

'S mor gu 'm b' fhearr a seachnadh, 

Na 'glacadh 's an am ud ; 

Rug i air cuaile maith bata 

'S shlac i feadh nan ceann iad. 

Cha raibh crumach 's cha raibh cailleach 

'S cha raibh bean 'ga seanntachd ; 

Cha raibh gruagach 6g na cailinn, 

Bean-baile no banntrach, 

Nach d' &righ nam frime, frama, 

B' i sud an eangach aimh-reit, 

Fallas gach te(a) air a mala 

'S malairteach a' sealltuinn. 

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Unpublished Gaelic Ballads. 219 

Ian Lom, &c. 

Is mise bhiogh gu h-aighireach, 
Nam faighinn mar a dh' iarruinn 
An ceann thoirt do Mhac-Cailein 
Agus fail air Mac loin Riabhach. 

Ciod an cagnadh th* agad oirnn daonan ? 
Cha 'n e 'bhi gar cagnadh bu doilich leom, 
Ach nach b' nrrainn domh bhur slugadh. 

Dol a chreachadh nan srathaibh 
Is srathair air a' bhliadhnach. 

Is fuath leom ceile bhiodh carrach, 
Is fuath leom cailleach ri , p6sadh, 
Is fuath leom oiseach gun oran, 
Is fuath leom, Och, Och, gun tinneas. 

Am Fonn Ilbach. 

*S daor a phai(gh) mi 'm Fonn Ileach 
'S leir do m' Righ nach e 'n t-airgead : 

'S i creach Sheumuis a le6n mi, ' . 

Dhol am feoil bhrathar a mhathar. 

'S ur an tugsaig a leagadh, 
Air an ebir bhig bhlatain. 

'S daor a cheanuuigh mi 'n t-saighead, 
Rinn an rathad gu gathainn, 

A chuir maillid air th' amharc, 
A mhic na mna o 'n Ghairbhil. 

Ann an Cilie-Chomain an Ilea, 
Ghabh do dhilsin fern fardoch. 

Ach a cheile Catriona, 
Fear dileas, treun laidir ; 

Agus Ruaraidh na f&le 
Bheireadh feusda da chairdean. 

Ach a* Bhothag a' ghlinne, 
Leom is binn thu na clairseach ; 

Ach a' Bhothag an Easain 
Leom is leisg bhi ga t' fheachain, 

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220 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

O nach fhaighinn 'na shuain ann 
Am fear ruadh mar a b' abhaist. 

Iurram Bata. 

Hoirinn o u ho ino, 

Iuru o ro hug eile, 

Hoirinn o u ho ino. 
Mo cheiad air fear a' chnii dosraich 
Dh' aitb'ninn air thoiaeach nan ceud e. 

Mo luaidh air fear a' chuil doalaich 
Cha b' e bnachaille nan spreidh e. 

Mo cbeist air fear a' chuil bhuidheadh, 
A dhireadh am bruthach gu h-eatrom. 


Shiubhladh, shiubhla, shiubhlainn fein leat 
A dh' aon taobh gu'n teid thu. 
( Tarialum) Rachainn leat air chul na greuie. 

Shiubhlainn leat coillc na 'n cabair 
Ge do bhiodh sneachd air na geugan. 


Chunncas do long sios an rudha 
'S i na siubhal fiu Ian ^ididh. 


'S minic chualas fuaim do chrannaig, 
Siubhal roimh laethe (la) air chuan Eirinn. 

Bha mo leannan f^in air stiuir ann 
; S ro mhaith thig gach cuis mu } n teid e, 


Bha roo leannan fein air stiuir ann 
'S cha robh curam orm mu dheimhinn. 


Fhad *8 a mhaireas crainn gun lubadh 
S a mhaireas na siuil gun reubadh. 

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Unpublished Gaelic Ballads. 221 


Ceithir nithe gu 'n tug mi f uath , 

Do mnai luath dhubh is do chu mall 

Do sheann duine (oighre fearthuin) gan bhi glic 

Agus slios (also var.) nach tuga clann. 

Is f uath learn oiseach gan oran, 
. Is fuath learn ochain gan tinnis, 
Is fuath learn dubh Ghall gan Bhearla, 
Is fuath learn teidin gan bhinnis. 

Is fuath learn loohan air lar nis, 
Is fuath learn gan chlachan thairis, 
Is fuath leam neid natharach an dris, 
Is fuath leam balach air banais. 


Is fuath leam cogar re boghar, 

Is fuath leam loghar (lame) an coisiridh (travelling) 

Is fuath leam mo cheilidh a bhi carrach, 

Is fuath leam caileach a phosadh. 

Is fuath leam tigh mor, falamh, fas, 
• Gan bhlas gan teine gan bhiadh ; 
Is fuath leam bean 6g bhruineach bhrais, 
Is fuath leam duine cas liath. 


Is fuath leam bain-tighearna labhar, 
Is fuath leam Abhal l gan ubhlan, 
Is fuath leam ceann cleiridh gun teagas, 
Is fuath leam cearcal nach lubadh. . 


Is fuath leam miosgain nam fear part, 
Is fuath leam troda na mna gaoil (loving), 
Is fuath leam suidhe fad an cill 
Air droch comun is air luinn daor. 

1 1 take abhal to be the true etymology of Athell, as it abounds with 
wild apples. Or if it be ahol, which in old Gaelic signifies mouth, it is the 
mouth or entrance into the Grampian Mountains. 

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222 'Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Is fuath learn diulta gan iartas, 
Is fuath learn fiatachd gan fhe6rach, 
Is fuath learn aigne 's i sgaoilte 
Aig neach nach saoilte bhi gorach. 


Is fuath learn iarna gan chonn, 
Is fuath learn long a bhios gan stiuir, 
Is fuath leam duine lochdach searbh, 
Is fuath leam talamh dearg gan siol. 

Is fuath leam suireach fai teach (shy) 
Air mnai shuilbhir nan rose mall, 
Is fuath leam an uair a gheabhadh e cheid 
Gu 'm bithidh an eleas air chall. 


Is fuath leam ceann fedna (leader) gan bhi cruaidh, 
Is fuath leam sluath nach togadh creach ; 
Is fuath leam an cogadh na 'n sith 
Am fear nach cuiridh ni ma 'n seach. 

(Note). — There is another verse awanting to complete this poem, which 
I'll soon get. I have obscured several words through bad spelling, which I 
hope, sir, you'll excuse me. Those I thought doubtful I wrote their meaning 
in English immediately above. 

(The spelling of the original has not been interfered with. — J. K.) 

Lb Fear Shrath-Mhathaisidh [M. Gillies]. 

Tha sluagh an t-saoghail-se 'nan deannaibh, 
Fear ag scaoileadh 's fear ag tional, 
Fear ag carnadh 6ir 's ga mhuchadb, 
S fear eile ga mhuin re balladh. 

Uainn a dhaoine, 's gabhaidh 'n seol e, 
Bhi ro ghlic, no bhi ro gh6rach, 
Leigibh dhibh e 's leanaibh mise 
Seall sibh noise dhuibh mo dh6idhse. 

Gun bhi ro chaiteach, no nam dhaolaig, 
Cruinneach , 6ir, no ga scaoileadh, 
Ma gheabh mi biadh, teine 's earradh, 
Ta mi toilichte dhe 'n t-saoghal. 

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Unpublished Gaelic Ballade. 223 

'Nuair a bhuaileas an t-eug a ghath orm, 
Tha mo Shlan-fhear air a chathair, 
Bheir e mi cho luath do Pharrais, 
'S ge b' e Kigh na Spainne m' athair. 

Altuchadh nam Meirleach. 
Le Alastair M6r Mac a Lonabhidh. 1 

A Mhic Dbonuill Duibb moir o Lochai, Dean trocair oirne, is 
aim duit bu dual ; thu fein agus odhacban do dha sbeanar, Fear 
Chuil-cbeannan, Fear an earracbd agus Fear nan Oluainte. 
Alastair Mh6ir Ghlinn-deiseir, fs tu bheireadb maitheambnas 
duinne, an uair a bhitheadh cuid chaich aguinn. A mbic a 
Lonabhaidb as an t-Sroin, Cuireamaid ar dochas annad ; Is trie a 
thug thu dhuinn greim rathaid, gun bhonn a gbabhail ga cheann. 
Ach guidhidhmid air Fear Ghlinn-Eamhais, o na 's ann air a tha 
sonus na fe61a. Is trie a cheil e 'n toir ann sa mhona gun bhonn 
a sea a chuir a 'r pocaid. Gu ma h-amhluidh sin a bhios sinn foi 
ghrasaibh Mhic Dhonuil Duibh Mh6ir a Lochai Sir (tir ?) Ailein 
nan creach o'n Chorpaich. 

Mu 'n t-Sniomhacha. 

Tha na caileaga 'n trasa 
Ga 'n saruch le cuigeil 
Edir latha Fheill Sraide 
'S la Fheill Padruig le'n dusan. 
'S tosach driochain san fhajdoichT 
Ma bhios failing an cut deth, 
Is ole a fhuair thu le d' mhainne 
Gun mo mhalsa bhith cuideachd. 

'S m6r iargain do mhail dhomh, 
'S e dh' fhag sream air mo shuilean, 
Seach 'n uair ghoireadh an coileach, 
'S ann bbiodh an oirionn ga m' dhusgadh. 
Rachadh chrois ud a tharruing 
'S bhiodh i ealamh gu cunntadh, 
'S mur biodh an dusan re taraing 
Bhiodh J m am chairis ga dhunadh. 

1 This is one of the famous M'GilloDy Camerons of v Strone, Lochaber. — J. K. 

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224 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Bhiodh tu d' chairis gu dhunadk 
'S beag sunt th' ort ga ionnsuidh, 
Caitheadh min agus m6ine 
Air do thoin re a gheamhruidh, 
'S m6r mo ruith ris a ghiumhas, 
'S goirt mo shiubbal d'a ionnsuidh, 
Ga mo phronnadh ga choisneadh 
Ann an clodach cruaidh lainteach 

'S m6r t-iomradh mu ghiumhas 

'S m6r do bhruighinn mu mh6ine, 

Cha ludh' do chuid iargain 

Mu m' bhiadh diomhain Dia-d6mhnu 

'S ann a bhios tu gam tharruing (ag gearan) 

Anns gach ait am bith comhdhail ; 

'S mar f hairche re taming 

Ga m* shir sparradh an comhnuidh 

Feadai nise do sparradh 
Cha ghabh thu fall us na naire, 
Ged tha muinntir a' bhaile 
Toirt an aire do d' ghnathach 
'S am a bhios tu gad' gharadh 
'N am tarruing an t-suaine, 
'S mise a fhuair an cnap-starra 
Nach duin bealach mo mbail domh. 

Dhuininn bealach do mhail duit 

Nam biodh tu samhach do d' bhruidhinn, 

'S ann a bhios tu gam' naraeh 

Anns gach ait am bith buidheann. 

Ach thig oirne an samhradh 

Agus am dol &' an ruidhe, 

Sin fagaidh mise dhrandan, 

'S gheabh mi aon ratha sughach. 

Ged is sughach an samhradh 

Cha 'n ann gu tamh 'tha air 6rdach' ; 

Ach bhi bisidh re cuibhle, 

'S 'cur gach ni mar bu ch6ir dha, 

Sniomh cl6th agus cath-dath, 

'S 'cur na plaide an 6rdugh, 

'S 'nuair a gheabh mi thu dhathigh 

Bithidh tu 'm fasta 'san e6rna 

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Unpublished Gaelic Ballads. 225 

'Nuair a gheabh thu mi dhathigh 
Cha toir thu caidridh na lamh dhomh, 
Ach gam chnamh 's gam shlr-chagnadh 
n' tha e agad mar natur ! 
Tha bhliadhna so fada 
'S cha 'n 'eil teireachd gu ceann oirr* 
Ach 's math am modh a bhi samhach 
O na thaine mi t-ionnsuidh. 

na thaine tu m' ionnsuidh 

Bha thu mall an cois gniomha, 

Bha thu dian an cois cutoig 

'S tu thrusadh am biadh leat 

'Nuair a thigeadh an t-aran 

'S ann a bhiodh an gallop air t' fhiacail 

'S ge do bhithinn s' ga cheannach 

Bhiodh tu 'n ain-iochd ga chriochadh. 

A Bhban Uinsinn Odhar. 

'S beag an t-iongnadh dhuit bhith br6nach 
'N uair a chaidh thu lea a phbsadh 
5 G amharc air na mearaibh mora 
'S air na cr6gan uinsinn, 

Agad tha 'bhean uinsinn odhar, 
Ud, ud, a 'bhean uinsinn odhar, 
Agad tha 'bhean uinsinn odhar 
'S a' bhean odhar uinsinn. 

'S ann agad tha 'n aghaidh lacunn, 
'S an smig a ghearradh na clachan ; 
Da shuil uain' air dhreach na lasrach 
Ann do chlaigionn uisinn 

'N uair a theid i chum na h-airidh 
Cha dean i calanas no stath dhuit ; 
Millidh i t' im is do chaise 
Leis na crogan puinsin. 

'N uair a theid thu chum a' chlachain 
Cha bhith do leithid re fhaicinn, 
Ch' uile fiacail ann do chlaigionn 
Cho fhad re cabar uinsinn. 


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226 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

N' uair a thekl thu chum na feille 
Cha 'n fhaic thu do leithid fhein aim : 
Bithidh na ribeinin 's an leinnich 
Air na feithibh uinsinn. 

Ian Mac Neill k Barra. 

Leis a' Bhearrtha (February) cuir da aon, 

A leith 's a' Mhairt, dha 's an April, 

Triuir 's a' Mhai do d' mheanmna, 

Cearthar 's a luin na co-leanmhuinn, 

Cuig le Iuli a's glan grian, 

'S le August ni 'n droch ciall ; 

Iarr a h-ochd le September, 

Ochd le October. 

Nobhember da chuig gun chol, 

December deich a dhiithear, 

Aois do reitheach a ta 

An so (lo ?) d' an mhi 's an Epac. 

Dhunachai Mac Mhaol-Domhncjich. 

Far mile agus chuig ceud, 

Cunt sud na naoi-deug, 

Linn na corra bhliadhna mar sin 

Uibhir oir na bliadhna sin. 

Airthear leat an uibhir oir 

Aon uair deug 's ni dol ea-coir, 

Ag deanamh thriachad dhuibh gu beachd 

Am bi da eis an Epac. 

Suim dh mhios o Mhart amhain, 

An Epac 's an la do 'n mhi 

Os cionn tri clieud fui ge b'e, 

Aois do reithe dhe do ni. 

Nionag a* Chota Bhuidhe. (Jas. M 'Lagan): 

Tha nighean hall ud na suighe 
Da 'n tug mise gaol mo chroidhe ; 
Gad' bhiodh an abhainn 'na siubhal 
Kachainn fein am ruidh a nunn. 

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Unpublished Gaelic Ballads. 227 

A nionag a' chota bhuidhe 

Deansa suidhe cuide reom (rium) 

A nionag a' chota bhuidhe 
Chota bhuidhe, chota bhuidhe 
A nionag a' chota bhuidhe 
(do-reom) var. Dh* fheuda' tu suidheadh learn. 

Gad budh leomsa Leos is Uibhist, 
Is na h-Earadh cuide riubha, 
Bheirinn sud uam is a thuille 
Air chota buidhe leis na bh' ann. 

Ged' budh leomsa do fheudail, 
Na h-edir so is Dun-eidinn, 
Gu 'n tugainn thairis dhoibh fein e, 
Chionn thu bhith 'g &righ cuide riom. 


Ged' bhithinn air bord am shuidhe 
Far am biodh ceol agus bruidhinn, 
B' fhearr leom na clairseach is fidheall 
An cota buidhe leis na bh' ann. 

Na 'm faighinnse toil na Cl&re, 
T" athar 's do chairdin le cheile, 
Luidhinn leat as do l&ne, 
'S cha bhiodh ar n-&righ ach mall. 

Ged' bhiodh do mhathair an gruaim reom 
Is t* athair air tldh mo ruagaidh, 
Cha tug, is cha tabhair mi fuath do 
Dh' ainnir shuairc nan rosg mall. 


Mur dean t* athair reomsa r&te 
Ni mi tuille mor ga eacoir, 
Th&d mi edir thu 's do l&ne 
Gun toil na Cl&re bhith ann. 

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228 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Lb Mr Aonab Morasan. 

'N uair (n'ar) shuidheas a* choir gun cheart 

'S iad a ni bheirt chlaon ; 

Cha bhi Mac-Caonaich gun mhart, 

A fad sa bhios an c- na mhnaoi. 

Oran a rinnbadh do Mhac Dhomhnuill Shlbitb a dh' bug 


Ged' tha 'n oidhche nochd fuar, 

'S beag air chadal mo luaidh, 

'S cha 'n e tainid no fuairid m* eididh. 

Ach bhith 'g acain an laoich, 

Da 'm bu Shuaicheantas Fraoch, 

'S e mo chreach nach do fhaod thu eirigh. 

Le do chuilbhir caol glas, 

Nach diultadh an t-srad, 

'S a leagadh damh bras an t-sleibhe. 

Ann an Sasgan fo 'n uir, 

A dh' fhag mi *n tasgaidh mo ruin 

Ann an caibeall nan Tura gle-gheal, 

Ann ciste dhaingeann nam b6rd, . 

'N deis a sparradh le h-6rd, 

A ghaoil, cha duisgear le ceol nan teud thu. 

Am baile Lunduinn nan cloc, 
A dh' fhag mi urra mo le6in, 
'S leat bu doilghich e Dhomhnuill Sheitich 1 

A High gur mis' tha fo sproc, 

'S each mu t' fhearann ag trod, 

'S a ghaoil nach suidhich thu cnoc da 'n r&teach. 

Och, Kigh is beag mo luaidh, 

A dhol do'n Dairre so shuas, 

Far an oluinnteadh a chuach 's a Cheitinn 

'S mis' a chunnaic do Chuirt, 

Lan do mhire *s do mhuirn ; 

Tha nois inneal do chiuil gun ghleus orr\ 

1 Shl&tich. 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 229 

Var. 'S mis' a chunnaic do cbiiirt, 

'S i gun mhire gun mhuirn, 
Agus inneal do chiuil gun ghleus orr'. 

'S maith thigeadh bonaid o'n bhuth, 

Air agbaidh sboilleir mo ruin, 

Cota Lunduinneacb du-ghorm eutrom. 

Ann Tigb lagba 'm biodb cuirt, 

Far m* bu radharcach thu, 

Cha bu cbladbaire cbunntagb f&ch ort. 

11th FEBRUARY, 1807. 

At tbe meeting tbis evening, Mr John Wbyte read a paper 
contributed by Kev. Charles M. Robertson, Inverness, on " Arran 
Gaelic Dialect." The paper was as follows : — 


Tbe more prominent features of the Gaelic spoken in Arran 
are among the vowels the attenuation of a and ao with tbe accom- 
panying development of a semi-vowel w, and the partiality shared 
with Irish for i, in lieu of ui ; among the consonants the preval- 
ence as in the islands of Argyll of the unaspirated sound of 
•slender n, the loss of slender cA, as in Irish and Manx, the 
occasional attenuation of the mediae and of bh and mh (as/), the 
hardening of final dh and gh with broad vowels, and an absence 
as compared with northern dialects of vocalisation. Bh and mh x 
for example, under the last-named feature, as a rule, receive their 
full value, viz., v not u or nil, as in arbhar, ruamhair, geamhradh, 
samhradh, &c. ; it might not be correct to say that they retain 
their v sound, as the pronunciation " cavasair" (and " cavastair") 
of cabhsair, from English causey, would alone suggest the possi- 
bility of a re-development of the v sound. Slender dh and gh 
at the end of a syllable which are sounded on the West Coast 
generally are silent in Arran (except in one word, an deidh). The 
phonetic tendencies in general are at a less advanced stage than 
in more northern dialects ; witness Sasgunn for Sasunn, nunn for 
null. The elision or loss of slender ch even may be a proof not of 
a swifter but of a slower advance, for the suggestion has been 
made, and not without facts seeming to countenance it, that the 
pronunciation in modern Scottish Gaelic of that sound is a 

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230 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

re-development and not a retention of the old pronunciation. The 
pronunciation of ao may also be an instance of the retention of 
older sounds. The position that the vowel variously represented 
of old by de, di, 6e, 6i, and now by ao (and eu sometimes), has 
changed in representation only and not in sound, as Professor 
Khys seems to hold (Manx Prayer Book), is hardly tenable in 
view of the great diversity of pronunciations in modern Gaelic, 
both in Ireland and in Scotland. The probability is that there 
was like diversity in the old language, and that not only in 
different dialects but at different periods, as is suggested by the 
fact that de, di are more general in Old Irish, while de, di are 
more frequent in Early Irish. 

Natives of Arran recognise three dialects, viz., Northend, 
Shiskine, and Southend. Northend Gaelic is more like Kintyre 
Gaelic than the others are. It is Southend Gaelic that is specially 
dealt with in the following pages. The use made of " Northend," 
"Shiskine," or "Southend" is to limit the statement with which 
the word is associated to that particular dialect. When no such 
limitation is made, Shiskine and Southend dialects are understood 
to agree, as does also the Northend in many, probably in most 
oases. The divergences between Shiskine and Southend consist 
of little more than the application or non-application of common 
principles in particular instances, and the same may be true of 
the Northend also. The nearest approach to a difference of prin- 
ciple is the treatment of mh after Mac in surnames in which it is 
attenuated at Shiskine (Mac Faolain, Mac Furchaidh, <fec), and 
elided at the Southend (Mac 'Aolain, &c). 

Some characteristics are recorded which are not peculiar to 
this dialect alone, but only such as are more or less local and 
limited in their range. Among other pleas that might be urged 
in favour of that course, the representation cf the dialect is more 
complete and the determination of the range of such character- 
istics is facilitated. 

In the phonetic re-spelling of words the letters are meant to 
have their standard Gaelic values, e.g., u means the sound of u in 
Gaelic "guth," of oo in English "food;" i means that of i in 
Gaelic " sith" and in English " piano." Vowel sounds that differ 
only in length, e.g., u and u, i and \. &c, have not been separ- 
ately treated, but are distinguished in the usual Gaelic way. 
Apostrophes are used in room of silent letters, especially of vowels 
whose sole use in the word is to stand between a broad consonant 
and a slender vowel, e.g., s'im for suim, or between a slender 
consonant and a broad vowel, e.g., t'anga for teanga. The 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 231 

suppressed slender ch is represented sometimes by an apostrophe, 
sometimes by gh. The mark ? indicates that the vowel over 
which it is placed is nasalised. 


The vowel a has two sounds, open and close, though the differ- 
ence is less marked than in the case of o and e. The close sound 
is usually, if not always associated with the liquids, as seems to 
be the case also in Manx. In Arran the close sound is found 
before m, a double liquid, or a liquid and mute, excepting r 
followed by g, b. or bh, e.g., amadan, cam, ball, gann, barr earn, 
<lalma, calg, bard, gart. So also la (day), adhlac, balach, parant, 
prab (rheum in the eye), prat (a tantrum). So damh, samhradh, 
but not lamh, namhaid. 

The open sound of a, except in combination with other vowels, 
is rare in accented syllables, e.g., gabh and agus, but is always the 
sound of the diminutive suffixes ag, an. In the combinations ia, 
ua, ai, a has its open sound, e.g., biadh, fiadh, ruadh, tuagb, aird, 
aimsir, aingidh, faidhidinn (patience), cainnlear (candlestick), 
saighead, saighdear, aig, saibhir, E. Ir. saidber (risk), gairid, 0. Ir. 
garit (short), an rair (last night). Ai in those examples is a 
diphthong, i being distinctly sounded except in aird and gairid. 

In other accented positions a has the sound of Gaelic open e, 
English a in "care," "fare," or e in "less," which gives in Arran 
pronunciation a perfect rhyme with " cas" in the local verse — 

" Nevertheless 
Na bris do chas 
A ruith do chearc 

In the poems of the Kev. Peter Davidson, of Brodick (Glasgow : 
Wm. Munro, 81 Virginia Street), who was a native of Arran, that 
sound gives many of the rhymes, e.g., lamh, neamh (p. 35), snamh, 
sgeimh (p. 105), which rhyme together perfectly. The sound 
being that of open e, may be conveniently called slender a. 

The influence of i in preserving the broad sound of a is not 
confined to the digraph ai, but may be exerted from the following 
syllable, especially if liquids are present, e.g. : abair, abhainn, 
Samhainn, aluinn (Northend e'lainn), cathair, athair, mathair, 
brathair, lathair, abuich, abhaist, athais. Such words as anail, 
acuinn, pronounced e'na'l (Manx ennal), e'ca'ng, are exceptions 
more seeming than real, however, as i is not the sounded vowel of 
the second syllable. Broad a is restored also whenever i is intro- 
duced, and is made slender whenever i is thrown out in inflection, 

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232 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

&c, e.g., a is broad in the accented syllables of the nominatives 
athair, mathair, brathair, nathair, in the genitive cail, in the 
plural naimhdean, in slainte, aige, aice, but slender in the genitives 
athar, mathar, brathar, nathrach, in the nominative cal, and the 
singular namhaid, in slan, agam, agad, and also againn, agaibh, 
although g is elided. In naire a is broad, but in nairich, perhaps 
better naraich, it is slender. 

In a few instances ai is close e, viz., maille, airean (plough- 
man), cait (oblique case of cat), caibe (a spade) ; it is nasal e in 
bainis (or banais) and bainnse, and in caith (wear, use). The 
remarkable thing is that in several other dialects a never is 
sounded as e except in the digraph ai. 

Another peculiarity of Arran Gaelic is associated with that 
slender a and with ao, which also is a slender vowel in Arran, viz., 
the development of a w sound between the altered vowel and the 
preceding consonant, .plain or aspirated, especially b, f, p, I, m, n 
before a long vowel, e.g., bata, ban, fas, Papa, Ian, mag, mal, mam, 
mathair, namhaid, nadur, naraich. The use of w as the symbol is 
apt to give an exaggerated impression of the sound, which is 
better described as a very short o, and may be reproduced by 
inserting such an o between the consonant and the slender a 
sound. In the case of short a the sporadic sound sometimes 
obscures the vowel of the syllable, so that a is apt to be taken for 
o, whence we have such representations of Arran Gaelic as 
"moith'' for " maith," "fola" for "fada." The true sound, 
however, is o-e open. The same sporadic sound is found in one 
instance where the vowel is open e, viz., in the phrase "co 

An explanation of the phenomenon has been suggested by Mr 
John Whyte. The broad sporadic vowel is required as a stepping- 
stone between the consonants, some of which are themselves 
broad, and all formerly followed by a broad vowel, and the now 
slender vowel. It is, in short, the old broad sound of a still 
asserting its influence upon the consonant. 

The feature suggests comparison with the w found with the 
broad vowels in Manx, e.g., mwaagh, a hare ; bwoirryn, a female ; 
twoaie, the north, where w has the same sound as u or w in such 
English words as "quick," "dwindle" (Rhys' Manx Prayer Book, 
II., 58). Compare also the Manx moir, mother ; moddey, a dog, 
which were formerly written meier, moaddy, and baa, formerly 
bu6, genitive of booa, a cow. 

It seems to be a somewhat similar sound that is intended by 
h in Macalpine's phonetic representation of the words math, 
mathair, buidhinn, namely, mha, mhahyer, bhiie-enn. 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 233 

As in the other dialects, there is sometimes an interchange of 
a and o. In the substitution of a for o in such words as cas, 
cadal, facal, &c, Arran follows Scottish Gaelic ; so fad, a peat, 
not fbid ; gallan-gaoithe, a swallow ; and the borrowed words 
afaig, an office or position, Argyllshire ofaig ; searmainn (not 
searmoinn), sermon (Southend) ; lad, a load ; baban, a bobbin - r 
and Southend cadan, cotton. 

It is o on the other hand in sporr-an-tighe, the rafters (South- 
end) ; doingean, Shaw's doimhean, deep ; trosnan (Southend), a 
crutch, for trosdan, from trast ; mollachd, a curse, and verb 
niollaich; and also in smot, a bite, a mouthful; bolgum, a 
mouthful of liquid ; bos, in the sense of " a slap," 0. Ir. boss r 
palm of the hand ; tochraisg, wind (yarn) ; boiche (Southend), but 
also baiche and bathaigh (ba'i), a byre ; fomhair, a giant, Irish 
fomhor, E. Ir. fomor. Roimh, troimh, gheibh, falbh, may be 
noted here also. The tirst two, which have ei in some dialects, 
are both pronounced alike, ro. The latter two are gheo (close o) ; 


has its open sound in cota, le6ghann, pchd, ooda-ban (four- 
penny piece) ; foirfeach (an elder), brollach (breast), folbh (for 
falbh) ; compaid (company), Shaw's compailt and Macalpine's- 
compairt (partnership). It has its close sound in obainn, olainn, 
sroin, lodan (puddle), loch, lothag (a filly), solas and clo (thick 
cloth). The words m6r and m6ran, as is very generally the case,, 
have the vowel close, except when they are emphatic, and then it 
is open. Thoir (give) has close o except in the interrogative and 
subjunctive forms, in which o is open. 

Open o is found in place of u in molt, a wedder (Southend) - r 
rogaid, a slattern ; rogadh, rough handling ; mosach, nasty ; boin, 
belong to ; oircean, a young pig ; oidheam, accoutrements ; and 
also in s6rd, condition, with its derivative s6rdail ; and brothas r 

On the other hand, it is not o but u in one or two words — uirre r 
on her ; guiseag, a stalk, from goise ; and cnu, or as it is pronounced 
cnutha, a nut. 


This vowel receives somewhat exceptional treatment ia the 
following words, in which it is long : — cnutha, a nut, for cnu or 
end, has been mentioned already. Similarly burn, water, is 
bu'arna ; gun, gown, is gu'ann, and is written gughann by Mac- 
Alpine ; and the borrowed word bulas, a pot-hook, is bu'al, written 
buthal by Shaw. 

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234 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The Argyllshire partiality for the close sound of e appears in 
Arran in the words teth, leth, leubh, deng, geug, beuc, peacadh, 
teas, seas, seasgann, neasgann (an eel), easbach (regrettable), 
teaghlach, reidh with its derivatives. In reub, ceithir, sneaghan 
(an ant), the vowel is open e. 

The Inverness-shire tendency to pronounce ea as ya has been 
remarked by Mr Macbain in Badenoch Gaelic, but it is only a 
difference of degree between that district and the rest of Scottish 
Gaeldom, with the exception of Lochaber, where^ that digraph 
always has the sound of e simply. In Arran the ya sound is 
found in searrach, sealbh, teann, ceann, greann, geal, which Mr 
Macbain cites from Badenoch, and also in beachd, cleachd, feachd, 
reachd, sneachd, deachaidh, teanga, dream, feamrach (seaweed), 
sealasdair (yellow iris), leamh, leamhragan, leatha (broader), leatha 
and leaiche (with her) gleadh (keep) creadh (clay), one pronuncia- 
tion of geadh (goose), ceath (cream), seath (six), seathar (six men), 
breagh (Northend, as in Kin tyre, bre), and for ei in ceirtle, 
meirleach (so Mac Alpine for these two). So also sreathartaich for 

Ea is sounded eo in treabh (till), geadh (goose), in one pro- 
nunciation geo'ach, Mac Alpine ge-atfgh. Earball is urball, as on 
the West Coast generally. On the other hand, rud, a thing (Ir. 
rud and raod, Manx red, 0. Ir. ret), is read ^ close e) short, and 
rudacb, kindly, is reudach at the Southend. 

Some dialects have i in certain words, where others have e. 
Arran takes *, and extends it to a large numbei of words, e.g., 
a miosg, mios, smior, mil for a measg, meas, smear, " nisi" (honey). 
An original i is retained in sileadh, Neacail, eannchainn, tionn- 
dadh, ionnsaich (pronounced ios'i, \ nasal), Mac a Bhriuthain, 
ruig, fiodh, and at Southend eadhon, i'coinn, liubhar, li'har, 
pirnean (a " pirn"), where e, a, u, <fec, may be heard in other 
dialects. Let it be observed that i is the only vowel sound in the 
accented syllables of the examples mentioned and to be mentioned 
in this connection. 

An original e is replaced by i in eirich (Manx iree), meas, 
meag, reannach (a mackerel), meadar (milk pail), reudan, Eauruig, 
cuibhill, pronounced ci'all, snaoisean, to which add measgadh, 
measa (worse), mean (small), where an original i became e at an 
early period. So deirge, deilg, and other ei oblique forms of ea 
words, and at Shiskine rionnag (a shooting star), Shaw rinnag for 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 235 

reannag. In sibhreag a fairy i represents ia, from original ei, 
according to Mr Macbain. 

In the digraph ui, i as a rule suppresses u, e.g., thuige, suim, 
cluinn, ruith (Shaw rith), pronounced thige, s'im, <fcc, without 
changing the broad sound of the preceding consonant. So ciota 
(Shaw also), a tub, cf. cudainn, ciostag, the little finger, cf. 
cuisdeag, and the loan words crup, cuifean, or ceafan, Scotch coof, 
and ciofanachd, cuffing. In ludag, little finger, ludallan, a hinge, 
Shiskine ludan, u is pronounced at the Southend as i, I and d 
retaining their broad sound ; at Shiskine it is French u, which is 
MacAlpine's pronunciation. 

It is i in some words having o originally, but now showing 
various vowels, e.g., oidhche, suidh, tuig, cuimhne, cuinge, smuain, 
maoth (tender), a'on, Di-h-aoine, druim, Cuimein, Naoghas (Angus), 
ceaird (trade), pronounced cird, and Southend struidheach 
(prt digal). 

On the other hand, i is avoided in meadhon (me'an, open e), 
uibhir (u'ir), sgiuirt, English " skirt" (sg'u'rt, Gaelic u at South- 
end, at Shiskine French u), Mac Eanain (M'Kinnon), and Claim 
Eanain. This last suggests that the name was received through 
Lowland Scotch. Timchioll, at Shiskine tiomall, is tiumall at the 

In Ireland the usual pronunciation of the digraph ui (and also 
of to) as in duine, cnuic, nisge, is that of English i in "hit," " fill." 
Oidhche is pronounced in Ireland as it is in Arran. In Manx oie 
(night) is in one pronunciation simply Gaelic " I," and we may 
also note dreeym (back), riiym, I shall run, and jirgid (redness). 

Druim is very generally pronounced dr'im in Scottish Gaelic. 
Compare also uireas and ioras. 


The sound given to this, the most variable, vowel in the 
language, is that of Gaelic close e, the same sound as occurs in 
English " whey," and it is the same, except in some instances in 
length, whether it represents an older ae, ai, oi> or a past or 
present agh, adh, &c. For example, the vowel sound of the 
accented syllable of teaghlach is e, and of lagh, laghach, aghaidh, 
ad hare, ladhar, rogha, &c, is the short sound of the same close e. 
The tendency to that sound is so strong that natives of Arran 
who try to follow the Northern pronunciation give ao the sound 
of e, e.g., in foghlum, North faolum, Arran folum. 

The same close e sound takes the place of oi in those words in 
which that digraph receives the sound of ao in some dialects, e.g., 

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236 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

oillt, coille, coileach, boile (madness), toill, coinneal, oighre, 
soitheach. At Shiskine the vowel of the numeral aon, viz., e, is 
retained in onrachd and its derivative dnrachdach. 

The sporadic w or o developed before this pronunciation of ao, 
has been referred to under a. Instances are laogh and lagh. 

In Arran poetry there are numerous instances of ao rhyming 
with 6 (and also with e and attenuated a). For example — 

" Mar threudich math a choimhdas cruin na caoraidh, 
Innaltradh nuadh bhith's, go trie, ag iarridh, 
Chaoidhas luchd cailt, luchd seachrain threoruichas, 
'S an oiche ghleadhas, *s an la innaltras ; 
Na uain og togidh suas 'n a lamh go caomh, 
Gach aon ag altram, ann a uchd mar naomh : 
Marso mor-churam do an chinadh dhaon\ 
Gabhidh Ath'r caomh nan lin a tha 'n ar deidh" 

" Faic mic us nighana tha 'n diugh gan bhreith, 
Faic feadh do chuirt na h ail a tha gan bhith, 
Am buidh'nan cruin ag 1 eirich air gach taobh, 
Ag iarridh beatha, deonach bhith air neamh. 
Faic ducha coimhach gu do dhoirsa teithadh, 
Trial ann do shollus, ann do theampul feithadh ; . 
Ma t' altair ghraonach tha na riogha cruin, 
Us gibhta trom do fhas nan Sabean." 

— Shaw's Translation of Pope's " Messiah" 
vv. 49-56, 87-94 (a.d., 1780). 

" shiorruidheachd, do runaich thu 
An iompachadh 's an t-saogKl ; 
? S trid umhlachd agus bas do Mhic 
An deanamh reidh riut/em." 

— Davidson's Poems, p. 110. 

" Cha cbreidinn faidhean no cairdean De, 
Gu'n gabhadh Criosd ri neach cho bre'un \ 
7 S ann a shaoil mi gu'm feumainn paigheadh 
Airson an t-saoibhreas tha iomlan saorP 

— Gaelic Poems by Alex. Cook, p. 14 (Glasgow : 
W. Munro, 80 Gordon Street. 1882). 

The peculiar Gaelic system of assonance, it may be remarked 
in passing, is observed in the last quotation, viz., De and gabh 
a as e ; paigh and saoibh aoi as ai. 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 237 

The Irish pronunciation of ao is, as in Arran, that of 6, except 
in Connaught, where it is Gaelic t, and in Ulster, where it is 
French u. The Manx pronunciation is nearly that of French eu 
in "jeune," "peur." 

ia and ua. 

The diphthong ia is found in iarlas at the Southend and in 
Shaw (at Shiskine earlais) arles, and in ceud but not in riasladh, 
deug, or iad, de'g, e'd. So Manx shey jeig (sixteen), but ceead 
(hundred). As already noted, a is open in those diphthongs. 

Semi- Vowels. 
The semi-vowel y takes the place of initial e or i, followed by 
a broad vowel in words containing liquids, e.g., callach, eolas, ionn- 
drainn, iuchair. W occurs for u in dawaireug (accent on last 
syllable), i.e., da-uair-dheug (twelve o'clock) ; cf. Irish dareug 
(twelve persons). 

Nasal Vowels. 
The accented vowel is nasalised in faigh, caith, oidhche, uchd, 
ubh, ubhall, crudha (horse shoe), and at Shiskine ith; and in 
fuaim, stuaim, gruaim, guaim, uam, uainn. 


The partiality which we have seen for slender vowel sounds, 
associated with the tendency which exists to attenuate the mediae, 
forms perhaps the most general characteristic of Arran speech. 
In some districts the sounds of the language seem to be produced 
at the very back of the mouth or even down in the throat, what 
is described as taking a mouthful of one's words ; in other 
districts they seem to be produced in the middle of the mouth ; 
in Arran the attempt seems to be to produce them in the extreme 
front of the mouth, and to squeeze them out through as narrow 
an opening as possible. 

A common effect of that peculiarity is to cause the tenues to 
be written for the mediae. It may be for that reason that 
* brodail appears as protail in Mr Macbain's Dictionary. In Shaw's 
Dictionary we find piast, a worm ; peist, a worm, beast, monster ; 
peisteog, a little worm, all with p f or b ; ceis for gais (loathing), 
ciotadh, creatachan, which are still the pronunciations of cioda 
(a tub), greadachan (a churn-staff). So b and d in beadaidh, 
Criosd, coda-ban (a groat), which MacAlpine also pronounces cota- 
ban ; brog ; and g in geannaire (hammer), aingidh, brogach, 
colagan (collops), and, as now pronounced, Shaw's carruigag (a 
pancake), and (at Southend) boga-leo, bumpkin. Druid (starling), 
pronounced truideag, is truid in Early Irish. 

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238 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The v sound of aspirated b and m is similarly attenuated 
occasionally, e.g., fomhair (giant), siobhag (a straw), sibhreag (a 
fairy), griobhach, are pronounced fofair, siofag (so in Islay), sifreag, 
griofach (so in Kin tyre). Mac Creamhan (English Crawford) is 
'Ac Creafan, and Mac Mhurchaidh is 'Ac Furchaidh at Shiskine 
(at Southend 'Ac 'Urchaidh). 

There is an attenuation or explosive enunciation of m and n 
also in initial position. In some cases the reverse may be heard, 
as in cuirnean (a pin head, so Irish), pronounced guirnean ; taca, 
traon-ri-traon, pronounced daca, drionaidh dreun ; cf. blangaid, 
butan, Biobull, all pronounced with initial b, not as in some 
dialects p. At Shiskine, afaig (for oifig) is abhaig. 

The Liquids. 

The elision of m and mh noticed above is a feature in the use 
of the surnames generally. Mac in surnames only is always 
pronounced 'ac, whence comes Shaw's word " ac, a son," which is 
quoted by Armstrong, e.g., Mac Nicol, now Nicol in English, is 
still 'Ac RiocaiJ in Gaelic ; Mac Mhuirich is pronounced 'Ac 'Uiri', 
at Shiskine 'Ac Fuiri,' and is still further curtailed in the English 
form Currie. Macintyre suffers at the Southend still greater 
abbreviation : Iain Mac-an-t-Saoir, for example, is simply Iain 
t-Saoir. The usage in great part of Argyllshire is much the same 
— only c remains of Mac in surnames. 

Medially mh is retained more often than in other dialects, e g., 
ruamhair, fomhair (giant). 

Finally it is generally retained except in words of more than 
one syllable. The infinitives deanamh, caitheamh, caramh, and at 
Southend seasamh, feitheamh, end as in Argyllshire in adh, pro- 
nounced ag, as does also creideamh. In talamh, ealamh, falamh, 
claidheamh, and at Shiskine also in annamh, ullamh, coinneamh, 
britheamh, aireamh, seasamh, feitheamh, mh is retained. It is 
elided in the ordinal numbers which MacAlpine writes with the 
termination adh, e.g., ceathramh, pronounced ceathro, and so 
written by Shaw ; so also theagamh, except when followed by 
gu'n, when it is theag'. In other instances in which mh is gone at 
the Southend, a has either the sound of the indistinct vowel (ao 
short), as in annamh, ullamh, coinneamh, and an alternative 
pronunciation of creideamh, or it has the sound of Gaelic short u, 
as in aireamh, britheamh, and an alternative pronunciation of 
ealamh. At the Northend, seasav, coinneav, and theago occur. 

There is no inserted u before m, nn, 11, as there is in Northern 
Gaelic, e.g., cam, bonn, toll, pronounced even in North Argyll 
caum, bounn, toull. 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 239 

The liquids have the usual sounds, except that r has lost its 
ui) aspirated broad sound. According to Shaw, I, n, r, seem to 
sound as if reduplicated in places of aspiration ; so, labhram (I 
speak), labhair mi (I spake), pronounced llabhair mi (Analysis, pp. 
16, 17). It is in the case of n that the different sounds are most 
easily distinguished, viz., the plain broad n, the plain slender n, 
and the aspirated n, the two n's not being distinguished when 
aspirated, i.e., when standing in positions in which other con- 
sonants would be aspirated. Slender n, however, is scarcely ever 
aspirated, to use a convenient expression, except in initial position. 
Medially and finally, except in one or two words, such as fein 
(self), sin (that), slender n has the sound which in such positions 
is always represented in Gaelic by a double n, that is, the sound 
ot French gn, or of English n in "vineyard ;" e.g., teine, min, and 
Southend minig, are pronounced as if they were teinne, minn, 
minnig ; so also cuimhnich, cruithneachd, and at Southend 
aoibhneas, caoimhneas. An apparent exception is minidh (an 
awl), which, however, seems rather to be mionaidh ; cf. Mac- 
Alpine, meanaidh, Ir. meanadh, E. Ir. meanad. Even broad n 
receives the pronunciation of slender nn in mionaid (a minute), 
feun (a waggon), eadhon (namely), and in the phrases " air 'ar 
n-athais," " air 'ur n-athais," pronounced minneid, feinn (a " load "'), 
iocoinn ; and in the suffix -an when affixed to a word whose final 
vowel is slender, e.g., grainnean (a small quantity), cuirnean( a 
pin head), pronounced grainn'ainn, guirn'ainn. The same pro- 
nunciation is given to that suffix by MacAlpine, and if we may 
judge from his examples, firean, uircean, Ailpean, with the restric- 
tion in his dialect also to words with preceding slender vowel. 
We may note here also that the Arran pronunciation of slender n, 
medial and final, prevails throughout the islands of Argyllshire. 

In a few instances broad n is unaspirated, viz., ionad (a place), 
Ir. ionad and ionnad ; beachan (a bee), gun (a gown), pronounced 
gu'ann in Arran and in Islay. Sean, old, is always se'n, nev-er 
seann (syann). The aspiration of n in " as a nodha " (anew) s 

In dona, sona, monadh, muna (see conjunctions), n has the 
soft or unaccented sound found in Di-Domhnaich : to put it 
otherwise, the words are pronounced do-na, mo-nadh, &c., not 
don-a, mon-adh, &c. 

N is unusual in trosnan, a crutch (so Shaw), influenced 
apparently by tarsnan, the more common trosdan being also used> 
and in eugnais (want, defect). The word for maggot is cruinneag, 
evidently for cruimheag. 

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•240 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

N appears as r in feamrach (seaweed), Shaw and E. Ir. 
femnach, and in the verb comanaich, and may be heard as I in 
meanbh-chuileag, pronounced mile-chuileag (accent on penult), 
and at the Southend in braolan (an earth nut), and mairseal (a 
merchant). On the other hand nunn has not become null. 

In a number of words n, nn, or ng is elided, while the vowels, 
except in aisling, retains the nasal sound : — eunlaith, muinle 
(sleeve), Eanraig, onrachdan and onrachdach, ionann (i'ann), 
coinnlear, innleachd, innis, ministear, bainnse, prainnseag, ionga, 
iongar, ceangail, teanga, aingeal, aingeal (fire), daingean (doi'ean), 
aisling (aislea), long (loi), meanglan (me'lan), is at Northend 
mea'ghlan, just as in Badenoch and other districts langan is 
laghan. The same reduction of ng to gh, and a subsequent 
hardening of gh into g, after the analogy of other -agh words, 
seem to be the steps by which ng has become g in coimhcheangal 
(coicheagal). At the end of words nn is preferred to the g found 
in some dialects, e.g., cumhann, tarrunn, fuilinn, with infinitive 
a' fulan, not cumhag, tarrag, fuilig, fulag. At Shiskine occur, 
however, fuilig and bodhaig (body), the latter being used at the 
Northend also. 

In Manx aingeal (in both senses) is aile, and onrachdan oc3urs 
in a phrase which has been misunderstood, viz., " ny lomarcan," 
alone (Manx Prayer Book II., 14), i.e., 'n a lorn onrachdan, pro- 
nounced in Arran oragan, lorn being merely intensive, as in loma 
Ian (quite full). 

A substitution of nn for 11 seems to be the explanation of the 
word bainnigh, a factor. M in lieu of I appears in a loan word 
which has undergone quite a number of mutations. The Latin 
pulpitum is pulpaid (and puilpid) in Shaw's Dictionary, pubaid in 
Kintyre, &c. ; cubaid in literature, <fec. ; cubaidh in Eoss-shire, 
cubainn in Lewis ; in Arran it is pumpaid. A comparison of that 
form with strump of Shiskine, Perthshire, and Macalpine, from 
stroup, tombaca from tobacco, plang from plack, and Manx cramp 
from knapp, does not tend to confirm the explanation of n in 
buntata as a piece of folk etymologising. It is rather an instance 
of the sort of reflex action that is so often found alongside of 
assimilation and other processes in language. Thus when the 
combinations nd, nt, mb (mp), &c, occur, the tendency is to get 
rid of one or other member, but when only one member occurs it 
often happens that the other member is arbitrarily introduced, as - 
in the above examples. In that way may be explained the Lewis 
cubainn. Cubaid first became cubainnd, and then by assimila- 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 241 

tion cubainnd became cubainn, and so may be explained the 
frequent substitution of n(n) for d which is a feature of Lewis 

An interchange of I and m appears to have taken place in 
muirminn, which MacAlpine writes muirlinn and muirichlinn 
(edible sea-weed, dulse). Shaw's muiririn (placed after muirn) 
may be a misprint. 

There is I for r in compailt (company), so Shaw ; at Southend 
oompaid more frequently ; MacAlpine compairt (partnership) ; at 
Shiskine eilean for eirean or airean (aoirean, Macbain), may be 
heard occasionally. 


This consonant has its broad sound in an uraidh (last year), 
Ir. annuraidh, and urad, so Shaw and MacAlpine for uiread (so 
much), but it is slender in airidh for araidh (certain), Ir. airighe, 
M. Ir. airidhe ; and in uirnigh (uirnnigh), prayer. 

The Gutturals. 

The sound of c does not differ according as it is initial or post- 
vocalic. At the Southend and at Shiskine the aversion to the 
hyper-guttural sound given to post-vocalic c in some dialects is so 
great as to have thrown ch out of a few words in which it has a 
right to be, viz., iochdar, uachdar, onrachd, curachd, pronounced 
iocar, uacar, onrac, currrac ; and yet in casachdaich (coughing), 
Ir. casachdach, the ch has been retained where the other dialects 
have rejected it. Compare also frasachdach (showery) Southend. 

Medially c is elided in piotar, a picture (cf. do'tair for doctair, 
"Cuairtear nan Gleann"), and occasionally at Southend in faicinn 
(seeing), pronounced fa'inn, Manx fakin, and also fain ; finally it 
is elided in chunnaic (saw), pronounced thunnai. 


Initial ch is pronounced A, in cha, chaidh, chunnaic, in Knap- 
dale honnai, in Jura hanna, Manx ha, hie, honnick. Medially it 
is elided in deachaidh, and at Southend in meille-chartan, pro- 
nounced meileartan. Ch in lieu of th is probably universal in 
dachaidh and gu brath (in 1408 charter, gu brach) ; in Arran it is 
found in lothag (a filly), bothan, feith, pronounced feach, and 
Southend triath, in which three Shaw has ch. Compare Mac- 
Alpine's pronunciation of dluth, maoth, viz., dlugh, maogh, and 


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242 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

mao, and the Manx bragh, daghy, myghin, for brath, dath (dye),* 
maothainn (clemency). 

Slender ch is h in chi. Medially and finally it is retained in 
greannaichte at Southend, doiliche (more difficult), iche (night),, 
Manx oie, duiche (country), baiche (a byre), deich, deicheanih, 
eich (horses). It is elided in fichead, timchioll (pronounced 
tiumall), in the place-names Bailemhicheil, Cillmhicheil, in the 
passive participle of ich verbs, as beannaichte ; in the other parts 
of those verbs medial ch is broad, as beannachaidh (will bless) \. 
cf. flinne and Shaw's flichne (sleet), also Northend dioll for 

Final ch is elided whenever and wherever it comes in contact 
with a slender vowel ; in adjectives, as doilich ; in oblique cases of 
-ach nouns, as coileach, coilich (v. Shaw's caoraidh for caoraich 
supra) ; and in ich nouns, as buainich, a reaper, u Picts, na 
Cruinnith," Shaw ; in the past indicative and the imperative of 
-ich verbs, as imich (Southend), Manx imee, ceannaich, teich 
(written teithadh in Shaw's translation of Pope's "Messiah," v. 91, 
quoted above. Even ith, so generally pronounced ich, is as often 
** as it is ich in Arran. 

It is substituted for th in snaithean (a thread), maith, bruith,. 
ruith, raith, suith (pronounced suiche, Ir. suithche, M. Ir. suithe), 
laitheil (daily), Shaw laichol ; Thighearna, pronounced at South- 
end Chiarna, Manx Chiarn (cf. Shaw's ogchiern, a young lord) ; 
and at Shiskine in gaoith. MacAlpine pronounces all except 
Thighearna with ch ; bruich is of course common, and maich occurs 
in Irish. 

It even takes the place of sh in the two phrases " car mu 
chlios" for " car mu shlios," upside down (of clothes), and " La 
chealg na cuthaige," also "La cheal' na cuthaige," "All Fool's Day," 
for " La shealg na cuthaige," equivalent to the Lowland Scottish 
" Hunt the Gowk." 

The elision of final slender ch in the oblique cases of nouns 
prevails in Islay ; MacAlpine has Di-Dcnaidh Caisg, s.v. Caisg. 
It has been elided in all parts of speech in Manx also ; and in 
Irish it is represented by gh, which is not sounded, e.g., Domhnaich 
is Donee in Manx, and Domhnaigh, pronounced Domhnai in Irish. 
Initially ch slender is sounded A in a few words in Manx, e.g^ 
heeym, I see ; medially it is usually elided, and that is the case 
even in oie for oidhche, where it was enforced by dh. In Irish it 
is sounded initially and medially like h, or rather like h followed 
by y, e.g., Michael is pronounced M\h-yal. 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 243 


In conversation g is usually elided in again, agad, againn, 
agaibh, and in Gilleasbuig, Eanruig, thainig, " Domhnach Cas" 
(Easter Sunday), and in sealg in " La shealg na cuthaige." It is 
preserved in Sasgunn though not in Sasunnach. In some 
instances it has become t or d after s at the end of a syllable, e.g., 
at the Southend uisge is often uiste, and at the Northend brisg, 
loisg, duisg, sothaisgean (a primrose) are brisd, loisghd, duisd, 
sothaisdean or soisdean. An elision of g in the passive participle 
of sg verbs is common to other dialects, e.g., loiste, ruiste for 
loisgte, ruisgte. The substitution of st for non-initial sg (sc) is 
one of the characteristics of Manx Gaelic, e.g., measgadh, Soisgeul, 
Sasgunn are in Manx mastey, Sushtal, Sostyn. Contrast the 
North Highland cosg, cosgus for cosd, cosdus. 

At the Southend cuideal and caidil may be heard occasionally 
for cuigeal and caigil, and on the other hand cliug, a cuff with the 
fingers (and cliugaileis, cuffing), for cliut, or, as the dictionaries 
have it, cliud. 


Gh final, preceded by a broad vowel, especially if the vowel is 
short, is pronounced g as a rule in substantives, e.g., lagh, dragh, 
seach, sleagh, and Shaw's triugh (hooping-cough) are pronounced 
lag, drag, seag, sleag (with a as ao), and driog, Shiskine triog. 
At the Northend even breagh may be heard as breag. At Shiskine 
laogh is laog {ao as ^), which occurs in the local place-name 
Glenlaeg (Calve's glen), So caithte-bhragaid (King's evil), and at 
Southend agus. 

Elision of gh occurs in aghaidh, gartghlan (to weed), and 
Ghilleasbuig, pronounced ao'i (Manx aoi), gartlan, and , Leasbui , , 
and also in such verbs as thagh, leagh, &c. 

Gh is of course generally the pronunciation of dh when 
sounded, and is in Arran pronounced as gh is, viz., g, e.g., fiadh, 
fiodh, geadh are flag, fiog, geag (one pronunciation). So also 
iodhal, fionnadh (hair), reothadh (frost), and at the Southend 
fiadhaich, cradhach, eadhon (i'coinn), which are at Shiskine fiVi, 
cra'ach, e'ghon. All the adh terminations of subjunctive and 
infinitive, including those in amh, are pronounced ag, e.g., 
ghabhadh, gradhachadh, gragachag. Comhdhail is cohail. 
At Shiskine ubh is ug, 0. Ir, og. Uaimh (a cave) is uagai at 
Southend; at Shiskine uav; but in both places "Ua-Righ" (ua, 
not ua nasal !), the King's Coves at Shiskine. There is ag for ibh 
also in mar f hiachaibh, in air taillibh at Shiskine, and in beulaobh, 

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244 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

fearaibh at Southend, pronounced fhiachag, tailleag, beulag, 
fearag, also fearagh. 

Final gh and dh preceded by a slender vowel, the pronunciation 
of which is so generally characteristic of the Hebrides and West 
Coast, are not sounded in Arran. There is> however, one instance 
at the Southend in the oblique forms of laoigh. Used as a term 
of endearment, that word has four pronunciations, viz., laoi, 
laoigh (ao as e), 16i, and ldigh. 


In contact with slender vowels, d and t are not always spirants. 
In great part of the west of Ross-shire they are sounded in such 
words as teid, teine, direach, like English t and d nearly, and not 
like English ch and,/. That pronunciation of slender t prevails 
very widely in the case of the words taitinn and taitneach, the 
second t being sounded as t in English "hit," and not as ch in 
" chin." The ch sound may be heard in those words occasionally 
in Arran, but the English t sound is much more general there. 
Another development has taken place, both at the Southend and 
at Shiskine : t has become c, the words being usually pronounced 
taicinn (thaicinn, taicnidh, taicneadh), and taicneach. 

The dentals have their spirant sounds at the Southend in 
some instances in which the broad sounds are usually heard, e.g., 
uait, dhuit, t* fhirinn (all in Kintyre also), maidinn (so Irish for 
mad u inn), boit (boot), air t' athais (where a is not sounded as e). 
Baiteal, on the other hand, is batail, and poit, pota (so Irish), 
plu. potachan. V. seilisdeir, also sub. The assimilation of Id 
may be noted in the loan word sgall (so Irish), for sgald or sgailt, 
to scald. 

The slender sound of * is heard in iseal (low) and treise 
(stronger), so MacAlpine both ; esan, pronounced eisean (close e), 
piseir (pease), uirsinn (door-post), deis (ready), dilis (faithful), 
faileais (shadow). Shaw has failais and dilis. On the other hand, 
seilisdeir is seileasdair (so Shaw, MacAlpine), and also sealasdair ; 
and suisd is susaid as in Islay. Such divergences are not unnsual 
in the case of those and of other consonants, e.g., uaibhreach 
(Shaw, MacAlpine, <fec.), and brollach (Shaw, Skye, Uist, Early 
Irish), compared with uabhrach and broilleach. 

The characteristic Manx change of sg at the end of a syllable 
into st or sd has been noticed under g. Another change occurring 
in that language is to make st and sd at the end of a syllable into 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 245 

s. There is an instance of that also at the Southend in one pro- 
nunciation of Criosd, viz., Iosa Crios\ Compare also Lunas 
(Lammas) for Lunasd, Manx Lunys, Ir. Lughnas, E. Ir. Liighnasad. 
Cf. also Cas for Caisg. 

There is no 8 sound in Arran and Kintyre in the combinations 
rd, rt — e.g., bord, mart, cairt, not as in some dialects borsd, marst, 
cairst (in Tiree they say bosd, mast, caist, &c.) In rtl neither s 
nor t is heard : ceirtle, fairtlich are pronounced cearle, fairlich, 
Shaw farlaicam (to cast, overcome) ; MacAlpine cearsle, fairslich. 

An so, an sin, an sud, are sometimes pronounced an t-so, 
an t-sin, <fec, and sometimes ann a so, ann a sin, &c. Some 
dialects have simply (tha e) a so, &c, and Arran Gaelic has 
evidently been one of them at one time, ann a so, <fcc, being 
identical constructions with (tha e) arm an Albainn, and (thug e 
sud) do dh y Alasdair. 

The Southend saoragan (lapwing), Shaw saotharcan (a sort of 
grey plover), MacAlpine sadharcan (s. v. pibhinn) may be simply 
adharcan with prosthetic s. The Southend srileag (a sparkle, 
glowing ember) looks as if there had been an attempt at a com- 
promise between srideag and Shaw's drithleag (diminutive of dril). 
The Manx enmysit for ainmichte has its parallel in Southend 
ainmiosaite (ainmiosachaidh, da' ainmiosaigh, but ag ainmiosachadh 
or 'ainmeachadh). Cf. s of laimhsich (handle). 

Initial sr has no inserted t (srath, sruth, not strath, <fcc.), 
except in strac (to tear), strac (to stroke), and strub, Shiskme 
strump (a spout). Some dialects, on the contrary, have strath, 
stron, <fec, but srac and .srub. 

Perhaps it should be noted also that before I followed by a 
slender vowel, e.g., in slighe, sleamhuinn, s has its spirant sound, 
not as in some dialects its broad sound. 

Other Consonants. 

Bh almost invariably receives its full value, viz., v, e.g., in 
arbhar, uabhar, and in the imperative 2nd plu., as iarraibh, 
thigibh, thallaibh, but not easbhuidh, gobha, go'a (close o). There 
is one instance of an elision of bh in a surname such as has been 
noticed in the case of mh, viz., MacBhridein (M 'Bride), at the 
Southend 'Ac 'R\dein. 

The not unusual interchange of p and / is found in the loan 
words fiseag (a kitten), frine (a pin), Manx phreeney, and caiftinn 
(a captain). 

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246 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


The c of co, in co mhath, is not aspirated as in some dialects, 
but the m of co mheud (cia mheud) is. In ur nodha the n has 
got aspirated. Airidh (certain) is sometimes pronounced airid, 
elsewhere araidh and araid. Possibly rabbaic (a roar) is the word 
raoic, cf. rabhadh (a warning) ; in Wester Koss rao'idh (ao short). 
Bi fholbh for bi falbh is noteworthy, and cha dheanainn, so 
Kintyre. "Ta" is occasionally heard for "tha," especially in 
phrases that are somewhat stereotyped. 

Initial / in composition with the prefix an becomes bh, not fh 
as in some dialects, e.g., anbhann (weak), ainbhiachan (debts). 
It seems to be a distinction indeed between northern and southern 
Gaelic that the former aspirates / and the latter reduces it to bh 
in such positions. The / of fein is generally not aspirated after 
consonants ; after m of the prepositional pronouns of the first 
person, it becomes p at the Southend, as in Manx. Thus, agam 
fein, dhiom fein, are agam and a'am pein, dhiom pein ; Manx 
aym pene, jee'm pene. Even after the circumlocution that is used 
in place of chugam (to me), pein is used — " cuir mu m* thuaiream 
pein e," equivalent to "cuir chugam fein e" (send it to myself). 
Sibh pein is common to other dialects also. There is a tendency 
to retain n when / is aspirated, and to drop it when / is plain 
fhein, fe\ 


Metathesis is found in Sasgunn, asgaill (bosom), Naoghas 
(Angus), sneagan (an ant), Di-daoirn (Thursday), and eibhle (a 
kilt), Shaw ebhladh. The two last forms occur in Islay also. At 
the Southend ullabur is sometimes heard for urball (tail). 

An initial s is found in Southend slorg (a track), and some- 
times in stuainnealach (dizziness), but is wanting in dreap (to 
climb), so Irish, usually streap, and in braigeal if it be identical 
with Shaw's spraical (strong, active, high-spirited). The prosthetic 
/ in faileas (a shadow) is very general, and so is that of faradh (a 
ladder) in the Argyllshire islands. Shaw's Feadailt (Italy) and 
feugmhas (eugmhais) may be noted. Faile (smell) is rightly aile, 
or rather ailea, the vowel sound following I being a. So fairich is 
airich. !Near though the dialects of Arran and lslay are to one 
another in many respects, the passion for prosthetic * and / that 
.exists in the latter island is unknown in the former. 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 247 

In the words neasgann (an eel) and neag (a notch), n of the 
article has got attached to the substantive. 

Vocalic additions to the end of words are found in sibhese 
(sibh-se), faitheama (a hem), burna (water), Di-Sathuirne, boiche 
(a byre), dhiucha (of them) Mne (a pin), and at Shiskine Domh- 

The addition of a final dental consonant, a common occurrence 
in Gaelic, is found in maireachd (to-morrow), t6iseachd (com- 
mencing,), toiseachd (precedence, &c), eireachd (rising), fuireachd 
(waiting, Shiskine), dithist (two persons), treabhailt (travelling), 
liobhairt (delivering). Shaw has eireachd, dithisd, and Macalpine 
liobhairt, and Manx, among other examples, trauylt (travelling), 
in which Professor Rhys regards the dental addition as being of 
obscure origin. 

Some monosyllables appear as dissyllables, as was noted under 
the vowel u. In addition to the instances mentioned, there are 
fe' inn (a load) for feun, motha (greater), 0. Ir. m6a, &c, othasg 
and othaisg, plu. othasgan, Shaw othisg, Macalpine othaisg for 
6isg (a yearling ewe), E. Ir. 6isc from 6i (sheep), and seasg 
(barren) ; an d&db (after), de'idh (close e short), as on the West 
Coast generally ; ca-dhe for ce (give, hand anything), apparently 
an old imperative form of chi (will see), cf. the use of the impera- 
tive feuch in the sense of " give ;" litheag (a lick). In borrowed 
words the division of one syllable into two is common in Gaelic, 
e.g., paidhir from pair, bleitheas from blaze. 



The genitive plural of the article, as in the case of the noun, 
has been supplanted by the nominative : " tigh nam fear" is 
" tigh na fir," except before words beginning with b, where nam 
is still used. The other cases agree with the regular usage. 


The use of the nominative singular as the genitive also is 
somewhat common, though it is regarded as a mark of a careless 
speaker. The assimilation of the genitive to the nominative in 
the plural is more general. A correct genitive plural is seldom or 
never heard. The general characteristics of declension are an 
aversion to the guttural plural, which is first favourite in other 
dialects, and a partiality for the plurals formed by making the 
.broad ending of dissyllabic words slender. Such words as madadh, 

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248 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

peacadh, cogadh, aodach, mullach, cupan, caman, asal, bachall, 
form their plural by the insertion of i after the last vowel ; that 
is, the nominative plural and the genitive singular are alike. So 
craicionn, phi. craicinn. Ch when in contact with small vowels, 
as in aodaich, as has been said already, is silent in Arran, and that 
has to be observed in the case of words which form their plural in 
-ichean. In addition to the elision of ch in these plurals, the two 
syllables are compressed into one, and the resultant vowel is * ; or, 
to put it otherwise, chea is elided and in are lengthened slightly to 
compensate for the elision, and are sounded like een of English 
pt seen," " ween," except that the voice dwells more upon the vowel 
and less upon the consonant. The words in which such plurals 
are found are principally nouns whose nominative singular ends in 
ir, — e.g., nathajr (a serpent) ; terms of kinship in r — e.g.,. piuthar 
(a sister), along with a few borrowed words bearing a resemblance 
to these r and ir nouns, e.g., leabhar, cathair, faidhir, nnd a few 
ending in a vowel with the plural variable, e.g., cota, malaigh (an 
eyebrow), plural cotaichean, malaichean, pronounced cbtain, 
malain. This plural, which may be marked with an accute accent 
for the sake of clearness, is found also in 

smuain, pron. smin, plu. smuaintean, pron. smintin 
bliadhna, plu. bliadhnaichean, or bliadhnachan, pron. bliandain 
gobha, plu. goibhne, etc., pron. goibhnin 
fail, a peat spade (fal), has plural faltain 

Samhradh, geamhradh, earrach are in the plural samhraiu, 
geamhrain, earrain. Autumn is faomhar, plu. faomhair. Abhainn 
has plu. aibhnean. 

teanga (tongue) has teangan and teangachan 
duthaich, pron. duiche, gen. duthcha, has plu. duichean 
gnothach, gen. gnothaigh, has plu. gnothain (so Northend also) 
solus has plu. soillsean (o as ao short) 

The word for flames, lasraigh (Northend lasraichean) requires a 
singular nominative lasrach, and such has been used. It is 
evidently an instance of the displacement of the nominative by 
the genitive. The true nominative lasair is known, but has pro- 
bably been recovered from the literature. The word is not often 
used in the singular. 

Guttural forms are found in ponair, gen. ponarach ; caora, gen. 
caorach, plu. caoraigh ; ciothall (a wheel), gen. ciothlach, plu. 
ciothlan and ciothlain ; and also in the following forms : — aisne, 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 249 

plu. asnach, a plural which occurs in one of the Old Irish glosses ; 
gualainn, plu. guailleach ; sgleut (slate), plu. sgleutach ; leine, plu. 
l&nteach, Shaw leintach, 0. Ir. leinti ; Hop, plu. lioprach ; rathad, 
plu. na rathaideach mora, otherwise na rathaid ; fiadh, gen. sing, 
feidheach in the phrase "cabar feidheach ;" fear, gen. and dat. 
plu. at Southend fearagh and fearag, also fir and fear: compare 
u a' cur mar fhiachag^' Those and other instances seem to show 
that the dative plural termination has been treated the same as 
-adh, and has been extended in the case of " fear" to the genitive 

Such words as tarbh, marbh, &c, have ei (e close), not ai, in 
the oblique cases, but without the quality of the consonants being 
affected by the change from broad vowel to slender, e.g., tarbh, 
plu. &c, tairbh, t'eirbh. B6, cow, gen. b6, has plu. ba (bwe), not 
ba. Miqs (month), has plu. mis, as in Old Irish tri m\s (three 
months). Fad (a peat), bdit (a boot), and claidheamh have plu. 
fadan, boiteannan, and claidhmhean (mh as v). The word for 
stocking is osan in the singular, with stocaidh at the Southend 
for plural, apparently the plural of a form stocadh, resembling 
the Irish nom. sing, stoca. 

Both the Manx and the Irish declensions have several points 
of agreement with Arran Gaelic. Manx nouns in adh, written ey y 
are, as a rule, indeclinable in the singular, and have the plural in 
aghan, e.g., caggey (war), gen. caggey, nom. plu. caggaghyn, but 
moddey (dog) has gen. sing, and nom. plu. moddee, exactly as in 
Arran. Nouns in agh, equal to Scotch ach, have the same 
declension in the Isle of Man, in Ireland, and in Arran, Islay, &c, 
e.g., kellagh (a cock), gen. sing, and nom. plu. kellee, Irish coileach, 
gen. coiligh. So keyrrey (a sheep), gen. ny geyrragb, plu. kirree. 
Another class of Manx agh nouns indeclinable in the singular have 
their plural in eeyn, e.g., cl add agh, a loch (beach), plu. claddeeyn, 
a pronunciation not unknown in Arran, and marking a less 
advanced stage of the treatment of ichean. 

Speaking generally, the genitive and the vocative singular and 
the nominative plural are the only declensional forms kept, and 
these are in general correct. The dative singular does not differ 
from the nominative, and in the plural all the cases are like the 
nominative. A vocative singular in use is rud (a thing), pro- 
• nounced reid (close e short) in the expression " a reid ghranna." 
Instances of plural datives have been mentioned — mar fhiachag, 
do na fearag, to which add air taillibh, used at Shiskine, and of 
course beulaobh, culaobh, pronounced beula, cula, but beulag an 
tighe, at Shiskine beulaibh. 

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250 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

The tendency to use the oblique case as the nominative is seen 
in tlaim, srdin, gualainn, uilinn, uirsinn, gois, but there are on 
the other hand such nominatives still as claigionn, craicionn, 
fearann, salann, siabunn, cnanih, lamh, gobba, lurga, smug (plural 
smugan), bos (in sense of a " slap"), taos. 

The gender of nouns originally neutemis in the dialects in a 
state of confusion, but the words corp, ufc, ubhall, are notable 
feminines in Arran. Mr Macbain has remarked the Lewis treat- 
ment of " inuir," which is there feminine in the nominative and 
masculine in the genitive, and there are several other words of 
complicated gender, as Professor Mackinnon has pointed out 
For example, boirionnach, mart, capull, and bata take in Arran, as 
elsewhere, a masculine adjective but a feminine pronoun, i.e., the 
adjective is not aspirated after them, and the pronoun that agrees 
with them is not e but i — e.g., " Thainig am bata mor agus tha i 
a feitheamh ort." " Soitheach" again is masculine when it means 
a dish, but feminine when it means a sea-going vessel. The only 
other example regarding which we have anything to remark in 
Arran is talamh, which is masculine in the nominative but 
feminine in the genitive, which is na talmhan, as in Irish, not 
talmhainn. The Old talam, gen. talman, dat. talmain is feminine 
throughout. In most dialects a second genitive, talaimh, which 
is masculine, has been formed, and is more or less confined to the 
sense " of the soil," the former genitive being then limited to the 
sense " of the globe." The peculiarities of those words have been 
observed by MacAlpine in his Grammar, where he characteristically 
remarks that they " set all rules at; defiance." 

The gender of the Manx form of talamh has been bothering 
the grammarians of that language also ; it is nominative 
*'y thalloo" (the earth), formerly u yn tallu," gen. "y thallooin," 
formerly "yn taluin." It is regarded, with some hesitation, as 
masculine in the literature, and the reason for so regarding it 
seems to have been the non-aspiration of the initial consonant 
after the article, the reason of which is of course that the law of 
aspiration does not operate upon the dentals after n — e.g., nighean 
donn. Even as it is, tallu is in some instances feminine, and it 
may be that in making it masculine, the grammarians, after their 
wont, have been carving it to fit their rules. 


The inflections of the adjective are well-nigh gone, with the 
exception of the forms of comparison. Teth, laidir, beag, mor, 
math, gasda, have as comparative forms nas teotha, laidire, lugha 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 251 

(French u), motha (0. Ir. m6a), fearr, and also feobha, gasdacha 
At the Southend, aird (high) has displaced ard — e.g., duine aird (a 
tall man), tigh aird (a high house). 

The numerals are pronounced — in, d'e, tri, cethir (open, e), 
coig, sya, syachd, ochd, n'i, deich, m-deug, &c, fi'ad, &c, ciad. 
The prefixed a in enumerating is retained at Shiskine and at the 
Northend, a h-in, &c. The numeral nouns are — inear, dithist, 
triuir, cethrear, coigear, syathar, syachd ar, ochdar, ninear (at 
Shiskine ni'ear), deinear. Coicer and octar are Old Irish, and 
agree, as does also seachdar, with the forms given by Shaw and by 
MacAlpine. The termination of the ordinals is open o short, e.g., 
deicho (tenth). 

Prepositional Pronouns. 

The following forms occur : -uirre (on her), diucha (of them), 
duit, bhuait, not dut, uat; daibh (to them), focha (under them), 
leaiche, leocha (with her, with them), bhuaiche, bhuacha (from 
her, from them), riche, riucha (to her, to them), thaire, thairte 
(over him, over her) ; tromh, tromhan, &c, has lost initial t 
throughout, and so is identical in form with romh, romhan, &c 
(before me, &c), mh being silent, and o nasal in all ; thugad 
means "away with you," and thuige is thige. 


The elision of slender ch in -ich verbs has been mentioned, but 
it has to be noted that in the future indicative and in the 
preterite and future subjunctive of such verbs, ch is broad, e.g., 
beannachaidh e, bheannachadh, ma bheannachas for beann- 
achaidh e, &c. Shaw has coiruchidh, mhothuchas, &c. (Analysis 
pp. 127, 139). Sanntaich has sanntachaidh, &c, but mashanntas 
Eirich, pronounced iri, Manx iree, has future indicative ireachaidh, 
Shaw eirichidh, infinitive ireachadh, or more frequently ireachd. 

Ruig reach (arrive at) is a regular verb, witb past indicative 
and interrogative ruig, and infinitives (at Southend) ruigsinn (to 
reach anything) ruigeachd (to arrive), at Shiskine ruigheachd. 
Faic (see) has past indicative thunnai, at Northecd thunna. The 
future is thibh, with related forms thibhinn, ma thibh, thibhear, 
<fcc, &c. At the Northend chibhinn occurs. Shaw has " chibh" : — 

" Ionadh an treudich glacidh 'm fasach lorn ; 
Nuair chibh e feur us neonain fas fo bhonn ; • 

Cliosgidh, nuair, measg nan carruig thartor chruaidh, 
Ni easan leimnach monar ann a chluais." 

— Pope's Messiah in Gaelic, vv. 67-70. 

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252 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The form is a b future,, Old aiciub, and parallel forms occur 
in Ross's Psalms, e.g. lxxxvi. 9, "Tiofidh gach fine rinneadh leat." 
Faigh (get), Ir. faighaim, E. Ir. fagbaim, is fai', and ffi\ with 
nach fhS, cha'n fha, Manx cha (now), nam fa'inn, and so on. 
Gheibh is gheo (close o), at Northend ghei and so on, with 
infinitive faotainn, Rach (go) has thaidh (went), an dea'idh, 
rachainn, imperative rach am (rarely used), rachaibh, and instead 
of 2nd sing, rach, thig is used, e.g., "Thig a dh' Irt." Ting* 
(come) has thaini' ; infinitive ti'achd ; imperative 2nd plu. thigibh, 
2nd sing, thalla. Thoir (give) is tho'ir ; infinitive to'art and tort. 

The passive forms of the verb are well enough known, but are 
rarely used, the sense being expressed by the ordinary periphrases. 


The day before yesterday is " ear-bho-de ;" the year before 
last, " ear-bho 'n-uraidh ;" bho, which bears the accent in those 
combinations in Perthshire ('" air bh6'n de"), being unaccented in 
Arran, while ear and de, tvraidh, are. " 'Na dbeidh sin," for " an 
d&dh sin" (after that) occurs in Scriptures, e.g., Luke xvii. 8. 
" Upside down," as of a dress, is " car rau chlios," and " inside 
out" " car air asgain" — Macleod and Dewar, " caoin air ascaoin ;" 
" heels over head" is "car a bhuigein olla." 


The preposition gu (chun, thun) appears as 'un : — " Chaidh e 
'un an tigh," " 'un an aite," " 'un Sheumais " = he went to the 
house, to the place, to James. " He went to the town" is " chaidh 
e 'n a' bhaile, which is identical with the Badenoch expression in 
form, but not, I think, in origin. The Arran 'n a is for thun a', 
while that of Badenoch, as explained by Mr Macbain, is for do'n. 
"'N a' bhaile," "'un a' bhaile," " gus a' bhaile," are all used for 
" to the town." 


The conjunction mur, so Northend (unless), is muna, Manx 
mannagh, Irish mana, colloquially mur, 0. Ir. mani. Muna, 
written " ma na (bheil)" in MacAlister's Sermons, e.g., p. 35, is 
Shaw's form, and is used also, T believe, in Islay, Lewis, and 
Raasay. The word for " when" is an at the Southend, ar or air at 
Shiskine ; 0. Ir. a n- : rinn e sin an a thainig e = he did that when 
he came ; gheibh e so an a dh' elreas e = he will get this when he 
rises. It may be compared with an in " a' bhliadhna anns an tainig 
e," and with n of the conjunctions o'n, na'n, gu'n, all which seem 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 253 

to be, as Thurneysen says in regard to n of gu'n, simply the relative 
pronoun a, an, or going a step further back, the neuter of the 
article an. The form nar is also used, but less frequently. 


"Neorra tha" is an affirmation known elsewhere. Other 
Southend forms are " an deorra tha," and still stronger " an 
deorra fein tha;" at Shiskine; " dheorra tha" and "dheorrafein 

"Ocha-m" (Southend) is expressive of sadness, Manx ogh-cha- 
nee (woe's me); cf. Welsh ochenaid (a sigh). Expressive of 
surprise are " a chiachainde," " a chiasta" (for "a cheusda ?") and 
the less frequent Southend "a chiastaid," with the passive 
participle suffix reduplicated. " Mo r&re" means certainly. 

Shaw's " faraor, alas !" and " Machtre, a Highland interjection," 
seem to be unknown in Arran. 


The future of dean (do) is not ni, but deanaidh mi, thu, <fec, 
with future conditional ma dheanas mi, &c, and passive deanar, 
ma dheanar. The reply to an toir is not bheir, but thoir, e.g., 
" An toir mi dha so ? Thoir." 

"Ruith e mar a dh' fhairleachadh e" — "He ran at his utmost 
speed" : " ruith mar a dh' fhairleas thu" — " run as hard as you 
can." The word is evidently fairtlich. 

' Thig is " go,"- not " come." " Come in" is "thalla steach," and 
plural "thallaibh a steach." " Go in" is "thig at steach"; "go 
away" " thig air falbh." The phrase corresponding to " Go to 
Banff," or " Go to Halifax" is "Thig a dh' Irt," "go to St Kilda." 

Tha mi 'g airea' gu = I think that, is an expression in constant 
use ; tha mi 'g airea' gu'n e th' ann = I think it is he ; tha mi 'g 
airea' gu'n dean sin feum = I think that that will do. It is airea', 
not airea, except when the word stands last, as " Is e so e tha mi 
'g airea'. At Shiskine and at the Northend it is " Tha mi 'g 
aireamh" (mh as v), so that the primary meaning is " I reckon.'* 1 

Is beachdaidh learn gu, Tha mi beachdaidh gu = I know that, 
I am sure that ; bheil thu beachdaidh = are you certain ? tha mi 
gle bheachduidh = yes, I am quite certain. 

Bheil thu dearbhas = are you certain that — ; tha mi dearbhas. 

Tha e 'brath = he intends ; tha e 'hrath falbh, tha e 'brath sin 
a dheanamh. 

Tha e an aire dha = he intends. 

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254 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Tha e a mhiann = he wishes to ; tha e a mhiann a dheanamh, 

Meal do naigheachd = I congratulate you, is the set phrase 
for congratulating a bride or bridegroom ; "he congratulated him" 
or " them " is " Chuir e meal-a-naigheachd air," or " meal-an- 
naigheachd orra." 

Is math an sas so am buntata a lobhadh, is math an sas so an 
gart a f hroiseadh = this (weather) is enough to rot the potatoes, 
to shake the (standing) corn ; is math an sas sibh mo chuir a 
mach air an dorus = you are enough to drive me out of the house 
(with noise) or to make me homeless (with your extravagance). 
Also, Is math an sas sin a thoirt an lobhadh anns a bhuntata, 
Nach math an sas sin a thcirt breitheanais air an talamh. 

Cha mhath gu'n = it is to be hoped that, negatively ; cha 
mhath gu'n do thachair a bheag dha = it is to be hoped that 
nothing has happened him. 

Cha bu chroic sin a dheanamh, cha bu chroic dha sin a 
dheanamh = that could easily be done, he could easily do that. 
Also, De '8 croic sin a dheanamh, and to anyone, for instance, 
leaving a " ceilidh" unusually early, De a chroic a th' ort. 

Truagh gu'n robh e = pity but he were. An imprecation used 
at the Southend is Truagh gu'n rcbh thu eadar Allasan is 
Eabhainn = Pity but you were between Ailsa Craig and Sanda 
(island near the Mull of Kintyre), the meaning of which is further 
illustrated by the remark that may be heard on stormy days, 
" Cha bu mhath bhi eadar Allasan is Eabhainn a leithid so a 
latha." The Shiskine form of Ailsa is Allasa, the second vowel 
being indistinct and the noun masculine. The form Ealasaid is 
not used in Arran. Eabhainn (e) may of course be for Abhuinn 

" The same to you " is " mar sin is duitse." 

" This is a better day" is " so la a's fhearr f " this is a bigger 
one" = " so fear a's mo," not " na's fhearr, na's mo." So past tense 
" thug e dha rud a b* fhearr," " chunnaic e fear a bu mho. " He 
became better and better" is "dh' fhas e na b' fhearr is na 
b' fhearr;" at Shiskine, " dh' fhas e na's fhearr is na 's fhearr." 

" Too" (soon, good, etc.) is " motha 's," e.g., " it is too early" 
= " tha e motha 's trath," equal to " tha e tuilleadh 's trath." 

" 'S m6 tha 's na nach 'eil" is a common formula of reply to 
questions answerable with yes or no, and has the force of a 
modified or qualified assent, e.g., in reply to "Are you tired?" it 
means " a little," " somewhat." So also " 'S m6 seadh 's na nach 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 255 

Cha 'n eil a choir urad ami = there is not nearly so much. 

Tha 'n t-am againn falbh thar a ch&le = it is time for us both 
(or all) to go. 

"He went north" is "chaidh e gu tuath," and more often 
" chaidh e mu thuath ;" " he is in the north" = " tha e mu thuath." 
So with deas also. " He went to the Northend " (<5f the island) is 
'" chaidh e thun a cheann mu thuath ;" "he went east" is "chaidh 
e thun an ear," or " 's ann an ear a chaidh e," and so with iar. 
The adverbs for " out" and " in " are used with etymological pre- 
cision at the Southend : " chaidh e mach," " tha e muigh," 
" thainig e steach," " tha e stigh." 

Anew, afresh, over again = " as ur," is " as a nodha," Manx 
ass-y-noa ; immediately is " gun stad ;" busy is " mu theinn," a 
phrase in constant use; "tha thu mu theinn " = you are busy ; 
" tha na madaidh mu theinn," used of dogs barking ; " air 'chois" 
means up, out of bed ; "air a chasan " means (standing or walk- 
ing) on his feet ; " m'a reir" is " free ;" " leig iad m'a r&r e," they 
set him free. 

" Gle mhath" means good enough ; very good is often " math, 
math;" "cha'n eil e aon dath (fuar, &c.") = it is not the least 
(cold, &c.) ; " gun taing do " is in spite of ; " rachadh e ann gun 
taing domh" = he would go in spite of me, sometimes simply 
" chaidh e ann gun taing ;" " chuireadh e annainn gun taing gu'n" 
= he would insist that (it was so). " Air alt" is a very common 
expression, and means properly, rightly, perfectly ; thuig mi e air 
alt = I understood him perfectly ; cha'n eil f hios agam air alt = I 
do not rightly know. 

"How (are you)," ciamar, is "de mar (a tha thu);" and 
" why," carson, is " c'onia." 

"Dol air beinn" = going over the hill; at the Southend it 
always means " going to Lamlash." 

For "to," in the sense of (sending) to, dh' ionnsuidh, "mu 
thuaiream" is used ; chuir mi litir, leabhar, <fec, m'a thuaiream — 
mu thuaiream Sheumais = I sent a letter, &c, to him — to James. 

" He will go to do it" is " theid e 'a dheanamh ;" " he went to 
do it," " chaidh e 'a dheanamh ;" "he is going to do it," " tha e 
do? a dheanamh ;" but " he is doing it," " tha e'ga dheanamh ;" 
" he was doing it," " bha e'ga dheanamh ;" cf. " dh' innis e is 
mi 'bhacadh dha innis," " he told after I had forbidden him to ;" 
and " dh' innis e is mi a bacadh dha innis," " he told while I was 
forbidding him to," i.e., ag with infinitive expresses a contemporary 
act ; do (aspirating following consonant) worn down to a with 
infinitive, expresses a past or future act. 

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256 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" Look at" is " amhairc air ;" " co air a bheil thu 'g amharc," 
also " co tha thu ag amharc air." 

" Where is. he coming from" is " c'aite bheil e 'tigheachd as* 
and " c'aite as bheil * 'tigheachd," Manx " kaid as veil e chiit." 

"Help yourself" is "cuidich leat fein," but "help him with 
the work," " cuidich leis leis an obair," and " cuidich e leis an 

"The man to whom they belong," "an duine is leis iad, leis 
an leis iad, and d'an leis iad" (cf. d'am buin iad for the third form). 
The Manx tendency to use pronominal phrases of the third person 
for all persons, e.g., " tha mi nylomarcan," i.e., " 'n a lomarcan" 
for " na mo lomarcan," is not seen in Arran. (It may be observed 
m Lochalsh, e.g., " thug mi leis e," " I brought it with me"). 
" A bhe*n leis an robh i," which may be heard anywhere, is in 
Arran frequently inverted " a bhean a bha i leis." 

" A cur maille air an leirsinn," "dazzling the eyes," used e.g. 
of the sun or of anything gorgeous. 

" Fhuair e reidh 's e, r&dh 's a chuis," " got clear or rid of it, 
rid of the business." 

The use of " thu" or " sibh" is determined solely by number, 
and never by age or rank, except that old people say " sibh" to a 

" Cha 'n eil aon duine an sud" = Northern " Cha 'n eil duine 
an sud," " there is no one there." " Aon," which is not emphasised 
in such uses, is thus used frequently, not as an intensive but as if 
a step had been taken towards supplying Gaelic with an indefinite 
article. In Irish " aon duine" is used for " any man " 

The following list contains some words whose local significa- 
tion or use seems more or less noteworthy : — 

aingidh, angry; aingidheachd, anger. 

anail, opinion ; 21a 'm faigheadh tu 'anail air, if you would get his 
opinion of it. The expression, which is not common, is 
evidently an adaptation of the Lowland "get his breath on 
it," breath being in all probability the Gaelic breith, judg- 
ment At least one Scottish writer has tried to improve on 
the expression by writing " smell his breath," which is 

anastachd, hardiness, endurance of cold. 

bad, a group, cluster ; bad tighean ; bad daoine ; bad chaorach. 

balach, a bachelor at any age; in Kintyre "giulan," though he 
should be an octogenarian 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 257 

ballan, an ulder, also a teat ; ballan-losgainn, a toad-stool. 

bait, a man's eollar, from Eng. welt. 

beachann (not beachan), a hive-bee ; seillean, a wild-bee. 

beart-threobhaidh, a plough. 

blad, a dirty mouth. 

bocsa, a cavity in a potato. 

bointe, relationship equal to daimh. 

bord nan graisg, the table to which children and servants sit after 

others have been served at weddings, harvest homes, &c. 
Briathar, the Scriptures; tha e anns a Bhriathar (not anns an 

Phocal), Southend, 
briob and briobag, any considerable sum of money; English 

bruchag, a corner ; Shaw, a chink, an eyelet, 
burn, spring water, also fior-uisge ; uisge means rain and also 

brook water, 
a* cainnt, talking, at Shiskine bruthain. 
caiteag, a basket, 
caoch, one-eyed. 

caoraigh-bhrocach, black-faced sheep, 
cas, to twist as thread ; Macalpine to wreathe, bend. 
cl6thte, fulled, thickened of cloth, 
cnap, a potato ; spion an cnap, peel the potato, 
coda-ban, fourpenny piece ; Macleod and Dewar, "cod, s.f., a piece 

part " (from quota ?). 
coir, pious ; never kind, good natured. 
a' collaid, arguing, Northend ; same as collaid, clamour, <kc. 
craobh, any garden bush ; a bush that grows wild is torn, as torn, 

fraoich, torn airnean, &c. Preas is not used, 
creic, sell, not reic. 
cuibhle, a spinning wheel, the wheel of a ship ; any other wheel 

is roth, 
cuileaga sneachda, flakes of snow, 
dagan, a little thick-set man. 

darag, a big stout woman ; nach i an darag i ; darag, an oak tree, 
an duilean, poor thing ; also an duileag, plu. na duileachan. 
eallach, a herd, stock of cattle; cuig cinn eallaigh, five head of 

cattle, so Shaw, Irish, 
ealtag-leuthraigh, a bat Southend, 
fal, a halo about sun or moon, 
feun (pro. feuinn), a load, what a person can carry, e.g. feun uisge, 

a " gang " of water, 
foghainteach, generous. 


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258 Gaelic Society of Inverness. • 

gais, loathing, cf. gais, surfeit, 
garadh na h-eaglais, churchyard, 
giulla, a man servant ; gille, a youth, 
gleusda, kind. 

greannaichte (bristling), tha e greannaichte fuar, it is bitterly or 
piercingly cold ; nach tu an " swell " greannaichte, what a 
tremendous " swell " you are. 
guidheachan, imprecations, 
iomarcach, trying hard to bear, as cold, heat, &c. 
ladhar, a toe (of man) ; so in Islay ; a hoof is crodhan. 
laghach, kind, 
leamh, annoyed, provoked ; is mi a tha leamh dhe, provoked at or 

by him, <fcc. 
loinnean, an easy, careless, fat, untidy fellow; "a greedy gut," 

mm, soft, gentle; "a dhuine mh\n " used as "a dhuine choir" is 
elsewhere ; also " paisdean m\n," an expression of endear- 
ment to a child, cf. Manx " aw boy veen, boy bogh." 
pairt with the possessive pronouns corresponds to English mine, 
ours, *fec, e.g. bheil do lamhansa tioram? tha mo phairt sa 
fliuch, are your hands dry ? mine are wet. 
ranach, hoarse, 
raodach (reudach), kindly, 
reodhadh, " ice," as well as frost, 
reulag, a star ; at Shiskine rionnaig, a shooting star, 
samhuilt aithne, bha " samhuilt aithne " aige air an duine, or bha 
e a' deanamh samhuilt aithne air an duine, he knew that he 
ought to know the man but he could not recall who he was ; 
also " aithne gun chuimhne." 
seisrigh, a pair of horses, a team ; properly six horses, 
seog v.n., to fly. 
siolaigh, a stallion, 
sliomair, a thief, 
srubag, a swig (of liquor), 
sruban, tha sruban air, he has had a drop, i.e. he is the worse of 

taca, time, season; mu'n taca so bhliadhna, at this season of the 

year, or about this time of year, 
tonn, a quantity of any liquid Southend ; tha tonn math uisge 
anns a chuinneag fathast, there is a good drop of water in 
the pail yet. So also tonnag. 
torachd, enquiring, asking, 
torran, dunghill. 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 259 

tulg v., to rock (a cradle) ; Shaw, tulagam, to rock, move ; Mac- 
alpine, to rock, roll, toss, sway, bend, as of cradle, ship, trees; 
same as tulg or tolg, to dint (metal). 

ultach, a burden (on the back). 


aibeal, impertinent, Northend. 

aigeachd, frolicsomeness ; Shaw aigantachd, aigantas, jollity, 

.ainspriod, evil spirit ; cf. anbhochd, antrom, both in Shaw. 

aisridh, an axle. 

altar, orderly tidy, from alt, a joint. 

.ath-cheo, henbane ; perhaps ath-theo, allowing for local pronun- 
ciation ; Shaw has deothadh and dtheoda ; Armstrong, an 
deodha ; Macbain, (Jetheoda, from Alexander Macdonald ; in 
Lewis it is ath-teo : in Skye, di-theodha. The word for 
hemlock, iteodha, looks like another variant of the same. 
Compare the Southend place-name Achenhew, explained as 
achadh-eo, field of the yew, by Dr Cameron ; in Gaelic, An 
ath-cheo ; in Pont's map, Ahew. 

baid (a-i dipthong), entice, allure ; Shaw, baidham id ; Macleod 
and Dewar, baith, folly, a lure, decoy ; the d of baid may 
have come from t of the passive participle baidhte or baithte. 

baid, bait, from English. 

bainnigh, a factor, from baillidh probably, although bainneach is 
occasionally used ; cf. Rob Donn's barraidh, a bailie, magis- 
trate, baron-bailie. 

baitheal, cow's stall ; Shaw, baidheal ; M'L. and D., buaigheal. 

bathar, whisky ; an robh bathar aca air a' ghiulan = had they 
whisky at the funeral ? Probably bathar, wares, applied to 
whisky in smuggling times. 

beallaidh, filthy, Southend ; Shaw, bealthich, s.v. dirty. 

beubanachd, butchery, mangling, Southend; beuban, anything 
mangled (Macbain) ; cf. Shaw, beabh tomb, beabham, to die. 

bideau, complaining, incessant pleading or urging. 

beileaman-ruadh, a species of hawk; Macbain's bealbhan-ruadh, 
from Shaw. 

boga-leo, Southend (Shaw, bogaleo), bumpkin, blockhead ; Easdale, 

boidean-reothaidh, an icicle. 

foraigeil, proud, uplifted ; cf. bragaireachd, and Shaw's spraical, 

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260 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

braile, a clap, peal, outburst as of thunder, or sudden rain ; Shaw,. 

a heavy rain It is the same word as Shaw's braoighille and 

Macbain's broighleadh. 
brailich, MacAlpine braighjich, clattering sound, i.q. straighlich. 
brais, an epileptic or other fit. 

brathaigh or braigh, a blow, stroke, peal (of thunder), 
buta, discount, MacAlpine difference (in price, &c), surplus, from 

English bate, 
buthair, a boor, bumpkin. 

buthair, Englished " bouer" or " l>ooer," a man who rents cows, 
caornag, a wild bees' nest. 

carlach, a load of hay or straw ; from earn, sledge, 
carraigeag, a pancake ; Shaw, carruigag, a sort of pancake ; so* 

Macleod and Dewar. 
casair, a small hammer, 
caspainn, a pace. 

cataich, tame, reconcile to new quarters, as a cat. 
ceargan, a poor house boy ; Shaw has cairbhecan, a ship's boy ; 

cairbhin, a small ship ; cairbham, to man a fleet, &c. 
ceogag, a heedless silly woman, Southend, 
cleighe, a gad-fly, " cleg," Southend, 
clearaidh, a dawdler, Southend ; perhaps clearaich, from cliar, a 

clearachd, dawdling, Southeud ; another form of cliarachd, singing 

cnapalach balaich, a lump of a boy. 
cnocaidh, in clach-chnocaidh, a stone hollowed out for unhusking 

grain ; synonymous with cnotag. Shaw has crocam, to beat, 

pound ; from gnog, English knock, 
coirbte, wicked, perverse, E. Ir. corptc, from Latin corruptus. 
colag, Shaw colog, a steak, chop ; Irish idem, says Armstrong : 

collop and culag have evidently been confounded, 
collagag, for colgag, the forefinger, Southend ; Shaw colagag and 

crotag, a curlew ; Shaw crotach-mara id. 
cuideil, proud, having the air of a person of means, 
curaidh, to crouch ; cf. curr, a corner ; in Scots curry, to crouch,, 

u is short ; Perthshire, curraidh, Welsh cwrrian, idem, 
daicheil, likely, probable ; tha sin daicheil, from docha, dacha, 
dailceanta, strong, healthy, 
dairleanta, or doirleanta, strong, healthy. 

dalluinneag, a square cavity used as a shelf in the wall of a room, 
dannaire, stubborn, obstinate ; M'L. and D. dan(n)arra. 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 261 

-dathag, a worm ; so Shaw, Armstrong. 

diunlach, pronounced diulach, a tall youth ; Shaw diunlaoch, a 
young hero ; M'A. diulach, and diunlach : Armstrong diun- 
lach and diulnach. 

doirbhidh, bad, dreadful, nach d-sin, isn't that bad now ; Kil- 
brandon duirbhidh. 

an doran and an dbrag express pity and some degree of disappro- 
bation, connected with dbruinn. 

dritheanaich, fits ; chaidh e 's na dritheanaigh ghaireachdaigh, he 
went into fits of laughter ; cf. MacAlpine's triogh, n. f. fit as 
of coughing or laughing, the chin cough, the hooping cough : 
Shaw has troighthin, dizziness. 

dromlach suith, gall. 

duba, a pool (in a river). 

duthan, s. m. plu. duthain, kidney ; MacAlpine dubhain, s.v. airne. 

eal, keen, zealous ; nach e tha eal, how earnest he is. 

eubalta (close e), grand, Northend ; at Shiskine (with e close), 
strong, capable ; cf. MacAlpine abalt ; Shaw abulta, expert, 
from Lat. habilis ? 

«ugnais, Shaw eagnais, want, as eugnais for as eughinhais ; 
cf. iunais, aonais, 0. Ir. iugnais. 

eusbach, regrettable pity ; b'eusbach gu 'n, 'tis pity that ; 
b'eusbach, sin, that was unfortunate ; Shaw has easba, want, 
scarcity, defect ; cf. easba braghad, King's evil ; M*L. and D. 
Easbhuidh is pronounced easuigh. 

failcion, a pot-lid, the knee-cap; Shaw, "knee-pan, sgallan no 
f ailcion-a-ghluin ; " Macalpine quotes from Armstrong, 
" failcean, the rotula or whirl bone of the knee." 

faireachair, a mallet, Shiskine ; cf. fairce. 

faomhar (ao short), harvest, so Shaw ; Macalpine has fobhar (mh 
and bh sounded v) ; from the same source as foghar (in some 
dialects fo'ar), E. Ir. fogamur. 

f eumalan, a thistle, Southend ; at Shiskirie, fothantan ; Macalpine, 
fonntan ; Macbain, s.v. fobhannan. 

fiafraigh, ask (Macbain). 

flinne, sleet; Shaw, flichne and flichshneachd; Macleod an<i Dewar, 

foireagan, playing with, teasing, tormenting. 

forsail, well-to-do, prosperous, as tuathanach forsail, from Eng. 
force 1 cf. E. Ir. fortail, able, strong, hardy. 

gagan, cackling; Shaw, gaggan. 

.gairbhean, complaining, ailing, Southend. 

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262 Gaeiic Society of Inverness. 

geostan (geothastan), ragwort ; perhaps from gaoisid because of 

its tough and fibrous character; cf. M'L. and D. geosadan 

for gaoisdean. 
glaim, a large mouthful ; Shaw also, 
glaimh, a glutton, Southend, 
gliofaid, a chatter-box, Southend ; Shiskine, gliofan ; Armstrong, 

" glifid, a noise, voice Ir. ;" so Shaw, who gives also glifram,. 

to prate, make a noise ; E. Ir. glifid, " outcry," Stokes, 
gluis,' slush, also sloppy-food ; Scot. " glush." 
gnadan, murmuring, complaining ; so Shaw, 
gogaidh, an egg (a nursery word) ; Lowland Scotch, sroggy, idem, 
gorglais, croaking (of frogs) ; Shaw goraiclais ; M'L. and D. 

" garraicleis, a noise of wild geese or swans ; " goir and glas 

graim, the expression of a crying, child, 
greighear (close e\ a stallion ; from greigh. 
guaim, management, thrift; Southend cha 'n eil moran guaim 

innte, she is not a good manager (of her means), 
guamach, managing, thrifty, 
guait, leave, put away ; Shaw guaiteam, to leave off, let alone, be 

quiet ; chiefly if not solely used' in gabh no guait e, take it 

or leave it : uait with g prefixed for assonance, 
gugan, a daisy ; Shaw id., also a bud, a flower ; cf. gucag, a bud, 

imirc, a removal, flitting; Shaw idem; Macalpine iomairc, n.f. and 

v.; Ir. imiicim, E. Ir. immirge, Macbain s.v. "imrich." 
lamairean, dawdler, trifler. 
lamhrachdaidh, handling, Southend, Shaw, 
lamhragan, fingering, handling, Southend, Shaw; at Shiskine 

lamhargan, handle of a flail (other part being buailtean). 
lanntoir, the inner apartment of old Arran houses ; Shaw " a 

pantry, partition." 
liathanach, hoar frost ; Macalpine liathnach. 
macanadh, sobbing, Southend, 
mathalt, a potato basket, 
meuragan, fingering, handling, so Shaw; Macalpine has verb 

meuragaich and meuraganaich. 
mlleag, a mean woman (Southend) ; perhaps from miol, notwith - 

standing that / is slender, 
a* .mioghlachadh, in suspense, fearing or anticipating evil (South- 
end) ; cf. Shaw's meogal, medley mixture, and Glenlyon bha 

e 's a' mhoguil = he was hesitating, undecided (the latter a 

metaphorical use of mogul, husk). 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 263 

oircean, Southend (pronounced exactly like oircean, a young pig, 
viz., oirceainn), the horizon or the heavens? only in "tha 
stoirm air an oircean," said when a storm or squall is seen 
approaching ; perhaps aigeann with intrusive r, E. Ir. oician, 
from Latin oceanus. 

pacair, a packman, from pac, 

paclach, the fill of both arms of straw, <fec, Southend. 

pataidh, anything big of its kind, Southend ; Shaw, patantachd, 

peilc, large stomach, e.g., of a cow that has eaten its fill ; a meta- 
phorical use of peillic, E. Ir. pellec, a basket of untanned 

plaid, of a person falling his whole length on the ground, fhuair e 
plaid ; nach e fhuair a' phlaid. 

prat, a tantrum 

rabhaic, a roar, rabhaiceil, roaring ; used in Islay also ; cf. raoic. 

racan, mischief, noise, so Shaw ; Macbain, racain ; nach ann 
annad tha an racan. 

ramaisceil, romping, noisy ; cf. ramachdair, ramalair ; in Perth- 
shire reamalair ; and Shaw's reimam, to ramp ; reim, a troop, 

reusbaid, a term of contempt ; " a beggar's brat" (Shaw). 

rinneach, loose shreds of skin at the base of the finger nails. 

roramach, profusely hospitable, from roram. 

rotach, the circle of mud gathered by one's dress off muddy roads, 
Northend ; Shaw, rodacht, a covering, fence ; from Scot, rot, 
Eng. rut? 

ruchail, to rummage, ruchailt, rummaging ; Shaw, ruchail, tear- 
ing, cutting. 

saoidh, a tub ; same as saidh (and saith, the back-bone, &c.?) cf. 
Scot, say, sai, or sey, a t^ub. From same root as soitheach ? 

sath, ill ; in phrase, Cha dubhairt e math no sath. 

seabhas, meaningless talk, nonsense ; also adjective seabhasach. 

seal-mara, space from which the tide has ebbed ; " dol do'n t-seol- 
mhara," going for wilks, sea-weed, <fec, as the case may be. 

sealbhan, a number, a crowd ; " bha e sealbhan uairean an so," he 
was here several times; from sealbh, a herd, &c. Manx 
shallvayn, herd. 

sgeir, a covering, top layer, as on cold porridge, or of fat on soup, 

sgeirean, drops of food, <fec, as on clothes ; cf. MacAlpine, sgear- 
aich, to scatter, &c. 

sgeirmeil, clean, tidy ; cf. sgeilm or sgeinm. 

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264 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

sgeoblach, untidy person or dress ; cf. MacAlpine, sge6b, aperture^ 

wry mouth, 
sgioblan, a lapful (Shiskine). 
sgiuirleach, a lapful (Southend), 
sgluait, a slattern ; cf. sgleoid, idem, 
sgraiteach, ragged, 
sgreunach, stormy, windy, 
sgroinneach, ragged, 
sguilear, a mean, contemptible fellow, Southend ; cf. Shaw sguille, 

sibhreag, a fairy, Ir. siabhra, &c. <- 

smeachranachd, tampering, trifling, as with edge tools, Ac ; 

smur, dross, v. smurach. 

snagairt, whittling, i.e., snagaireachd ; Shaw snaigheoireachd. 
sothaisgean (soisgean), a primrose, Southend ; Shaw somharcain 

and sorigh (i.e. sobhraich) ; MacAlpine sobhrachan, M'L. and 

D. samhaircean, Manx sumark. 
spreocainn, a sickly person, valetudinarian, cf. sprebchan. 
spreod, spread (peats to dry, &c). 
sprog, a disease of sheep, sturdy, 
spruchag, a hoard, savings, Southend; cf. M'L. and D. broghadh, 

increase, profit ; Manx prughag, translated " miser" (Moore's 

Folklore, p. 184). 
stroid, Southend, synonym for rotach (supra), 
strubladh, a beating with wind and rain ; 's e fhuair a strubladh, 

of one who has been out in wind and rain, 
stuaic, a wry neck, E. Ir. stuag, an arch, 
sumhail, pronounced suil, quiet ; Shaw suidheal, quiet, calm, 

sedate, noble ; MacAlpine, of little bulk, portable, of a person 

humble, obedient, obsequious ; at Shiskine suin, influenced 

probably by ciuin. 
tainneadh, thaw ; Shaw taithnadh, taithnan, to thaw ; Macbain 

te, thick as soup, gruel, &c. In Skye when fish, milk, preserves, 

&c, take the bitter or sharp taste caufced by fermentation, 

they are said to be te. Cf. teuchd, to congeal, &c, Ir. 

teuchdaim, to curdle, &c. 
turradan, rocking oneself as one in grief ; " nodding," Shaw ; 

MacAlpine has turraman and turram, with verbs turramain 

and turraim ; North turraban ; at Shiskine air thurrachdain, 

usaid, use, (noun), so Ir. usaidich (verb), usaidech, useful. 

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The Gaelic Dialect of Arran. 265 

There are one or two uses of borrowed words, which are some- 
what interesting : — 

Nach tu th' aims a ghe'll (open e), said to anyone in great haste ; 
English gale. 

Rinn e mach a phut (u as in Eng. " shut"), he accomplished his 
purpose or his task ; from Eng. " bit," originally used of 
shearers finishing their share of a field. 

Rinn iad s'eusar orra (first s broad), they made a seizure (in con- 
nection with smuggling) ; Eng. seizure ; Shaw's siasar, a 
session, assizes, and MacAlplne's seusar, acme, perfection, &c. 
(turning point, crisis) seem to show the same origin. 

t6th, eagerness, inclination, <fec, Southend ; ann an toth dol ann, 
eager to go ; ann an t6th leis, greatly attracted to, or taken 
up by it or him ; English " in tow." 

18th FEBRUARY, 1897. 

At the meeting this evening, Rev. James Macdonald, Reay ; 
Rev. Archibald Macdonald, Kiltarlity; and Mr R. T. Stewart, 
Commercial Bank, Tain, were elected ordinary members of the 

A communication from the Gaelic Society of London soliciting 
the support of the Society towards a proposed deputation to Lord 
Balfour anent the teaching of Gaelic in Highland Schools, on 
similar lines as of Welsh in Welsh Schools, was submitted, and it 
was agreed to countenance and support the movement. 

Thereafter, Rev. James Macdonald, Reay, delivered a paper 
entitled "Fauns and Fairies." The paper was as follows : — 


Since the day on which the Rev. Robert Kirk, minister at 
Aberfoil, " went to his own herd," in 1692, our knowledge of 
fairies has made no appreciable advance. When men ceased to 
prosecute witches and burn them, the traditions of the past were 
by mutual consent forgotten, and the prevalent type of Christian- 
ity put curious prying into the unknown under a ban. So it 
happened that during the latter half of the seventeenth, and the 
whole of the eighteenth century Scotland, forgot its folk-lore. 
Old stories with a spice of Paganism were deemed unsuited for 

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266 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

grave and sober Presbyterian households. Even the cherished 
traditions of the Roman Catholic church were regarded as some- 
thing more than harmless superstition, and treated accordingly. 
In odd corners the older folk-lore stories remained. Men could 
tell tales of battle where other heroes than the Great Twin 
Brothers led the van, and record, with minute amplification of 
circumstance, scenes of midnight carouse and revel, at which 
immortals appeared and claimed the service and homage of those 
whose spirits were congenial to the forgotten cult. Gradually the 
beliefs or superstitions of Christianity displaced the ancestral 
spirits fiom their sylvan homes, and substituted a kind of personal 
devil, clad in bull hide and smelling evilly of brimstone, thus 
transforming beautiful legends and stories of folk-lore of untold 
value into grotesque representations of a Christianity little under- 
stood and rarely practised. 

When science began to sift medieval and modern accretions 
from the ancient, little which was of direct value was left ; and 
only by infinite pains, and compariug beliefs, customs, ceremonial 
acts and usages in widely separated countries could a measure of 
certainty be arrived at, and this is particularly the case in regard 
to the subject of this paper. Of theories and writing we have 
enough and more than enough. Scattered through the records of 
trials in court, enquiries before ecclesiastics, theological disserta- 
tions on demonology, diaries and curious essays, there is no lack 
of counsel ; but any one who is acquainted with Kirk's essay on 
" Fairies, Elves, and Fauns," and Martin's " Description of the 
Western Islands," must feel that both ancient and modern 
theorists have not much more to relate. That a great deal of 
good work has been done since then every one knows, but this has 
been by way of wider research in other fields, illustration and 
comparison of facts already recorded, and a closer application of 
scientific methods to the elucidation of the facts folk-lore has to 
teach. But this has not greatly added to our direct knowledge of 
how our ancestors viewed the fairy world ; that we learn rather 
by inference than by fresh discovery within our own borders. 

In discussing the subject of fairies we much approach it as 
antiquarians, folk-lorists, and anthropologists ; for beyond all 
doubt fairy cult is a complex thing, and is based on material 
supplied by tradition going back thousands of years : on the facts 
of nature and unexplained phenomena, as rappings, loud noises, 
mysterious movement of bodies, lights and phantoms, and all the 
complex powers of the unknown as these presented themselves to 
primitive man as he looked out upon the world, and as they re- 

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Fauns and Fairies. 26T 

shaped themselves through ages upon ages of an evolution 
imperceptible in its upward movement — here leaving an ancient 
belief behind forever, there seizing on a new thought and clinging 
to it with the same tenacity with which man clings to life itself. 

In this paper I propose to glance first at a few of the more 
common fairy beliefs and legends, and then endeavour to trace 
their origin and how they are allied to other phases of folk-lore 
and myth. And to revert to Robert Kirk. Before he " went to 
his own herd," he had no manner of doubt regarding the actual 
physical existence of fairies, and with rare glimpses of the scientific 
method, sets himself to explain the undoubted facts. His evidence 
in this respect is of more value than Martin's, who simply records 
many Celtic beliefs and customs as a curious survival. Kirk's 
pamphlet does not appear to have been published till compara- 
tively recently, but Lord Reay saw it about the close of the 
seventeenth century, and Scott had access to it at the time when 
he wrote the letters to Loekhart. These, and a number of his 
poems and ballads, are largely indebted to the minister of Aberfoil. 
When Kirk wrote, probably about 1680, unseen beings abounded, 
castles were haunted, lakes and rivers had their denizens, witches 
practised their evil arts, and kirk sessions exercised their diligence 
in rooting out these public pests ; and to doubt the existence of 
fairies would have been to have exposed his own orthodoxy to a 
severe strain. So his science must yield to acknowledged facts. 

His fairy bodies are congealed air or essence. They have, or 
assume, the human form, but are diminutive and most frequently 
invisible. They eat, but not our gross material food, for only the 
finest spirituous essences serve to sustain them. These they 
extract or suck out of ordinary substances, and neither corn nor 
milk comes amiss to them. They have been known to impoverish 
whole fields so that the meal made from the corn had no sustain- 
ing power, nor would barley so affected make whisky. The little 
people can work, and they have been heard striking with hammers 
as a smith at a forge ; but their only visible work is the elf 
arrow. They change their place of residence quarterly, and where 
there is at one period of the year high revel, with music and the 
dance, there is at another nothing but the silence of the everlast- 
ing hills. As they migrate from place to place they swim on air 
low down above the ground, and men, seers that is, have often 
seen them travelling through space, and felt a rush as of wings, 
with low musical notes which filled earth and air as they went. 

Among fairies there are orders, kings, more often queens, and 
commoners. The latter are divided into various grades, chiefs,. 

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268 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

masters, servants, slaves. They attend at all banquets, marriages, 
and funerals, and take part of the provision made for those who 
attend, not in its gross material form — they simply extract its 
essence and regale themselves on this ethereal fare. They help 
to carry the body to the place of sepulture at funerals, and take 
part in all the ceremonies connected therewith, except those of a 
religious or Christian character. They go fishing on stream and 
tarn in the guise of monks in cowl and hood. Men have fairies 
as their co-walker or double, and these are never separate from their 
human second self. A voracious eater does not require more food 
for his support than another man, but an elf is his co-walker and 
must be daily fed. Our reverend author prescribes no remedy for 
this form of possession, but there are other fairy evils he knows 
how to cure. For example ; when a cow calves, if some of her 
dung is smeared on the calf's mouth before it sucks, no harm can 
come to the milk 'during the season. When a mother just begins 
nursing her new born infant, a bible, iron, or a piece of bread 
placed in her bed will prevent her being stolen by the fairies to 
nurse elf children, a common occurrence in those old days at Aber- 
foil. Of all substances the little people feared iron most; and that 
because hell lies between the chill tempest and hot scalding 
metals, and no sooner does a fairy smell iron than it fears and 
flies. Fairy clothing resembles that of the country where they 
dwell. Its colour is always green. At Aberfoil they wore 
kilts ; in Ayrshire trews ! They become old and die, but not as 
we do ; for nothing ever perishes in fairyland. Everything goes 
on in circles lesser or greater, but continuing for ever and renew- 
ing all that revolves, every change being but a kind of transmigra- 
tion into new forms. Nor is the mystic land devoid of literature ; 
but the books are so learned, involved, and abstruse, that mortal 
man has never been able to unravel their contents. 

The wraith, or death messenger from elf-land may be insulted, 
and his vengeful rage knows no bounds, only his wrath may be 
appeased by the death of an animal, whether offered directly in 
sacrifice or not the record does not relate. The coming of this 
elf land wraith seers can foretell. They have seen him and have 
entered into combat with him. But he is impalpable and invul- 
nerable, for he may be cut through with a sword blade with no 
resistance and no result ; the blade simply passes as through the 
liquid air. On the other hand he has wrestled with seers, and 
many a sore combat has been waged on the heathery hill-side 
between those who could see farther than their fellows, and the 
mysterious figures, half light, half darkness, which met with them 

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Fauns and Fairies. 269 

and maimed not a few of them for the remainder of their days — 
which same may be a kind of Pagan paraphrase of the well-known 
story of Jacob by the Jabbock. The spirit-world messenger 
inflicted his wounds with elf-arrows, and these left no visible mark 
though the wound was mortal. The only hope of cure was to 
find the spot where the arrow entered the body, and place one's 
finger upon it. As men were wounded to death by these fairyland 
weapons, so, too, were cows and other domestic animals. After 
such wounds they pined and died with no visible sign of injury. 

Departed human souls frequently dwell in fairy hills, and are 
identified with the fairy folk. Numerous instances are related of their 
being seen and even recovered. When our reverend historian 
" went to his own herd," it was revealed to a seer, after his sup- 
posed burial, that he was not dead, and that the coffin contained 
nothing but leaves. On a certain night he was to reappear, and 
f a relative, named to the seer, threw his dirk over him he would 
remain ; if not, vanish for ever to the land of mirth and song. 
He did appear, but the man who alone could detain him among 
mortals got so excited that he only threw the dirk as the minister 
vanished into thin air. It was too late. He had gone to his own 
land, and was seen no more. He still, doubtless, visits the scenes 
of his mortal life on winter nights when the moon is full. 

The vanished world of those days could not get along without 
its seers. Men became soothsayers by training. An essential part 
of the rites of initiation was, that the novice should make himself 
a girdle from a horse hair tether which had been used in binding 
a dead body to a bier. With this girdle about his loins he must 
stoop downward and look backwards between his legs till he saw 
a funeral approach and cross two marches between lands or farms. 
Another method of watching an approaching funeral was through a 
hole in a board where a wood knot had fallen out. Having 
attained to second sight, the seer could tell the future by looking 
through the shoulder-blade of a sheep, and this was a sure method 
of detecting any misdemeanours in the owner's household. A man 
who doubted his wife's fidelity, had but to present a shoulder of 
mutton to the seer, and the facts were revealed. 

But the erratic movements of wives were not always the 
result of fancy for a handsome man. Fairies stole them, and only 
a seer could restore the abducted spouse to her sorrowing lord ; 
and our author puts one well-authenticated case on record of a 
wife being stolen, and a fairy woman substituted in her place. 
The eK-wife died and was buried. After a suitable period the 
widower consoled himself with a "fair and comely maiden" as his 

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270 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

second wife. At the end of two years the original wife was 
restoied, but whether she proved a kind of Enoch Ardeu the 
history does not relate. The author, however, adds that " there 
is an art, not superstition, for recovering the stolen." It is a pity 
he did not deem it worth w T hile to put the art on record, only 
being well known and authenticated, this was unnecessary in his 
day, and it is to be feared it has been lost. He does tell us a 
number of marvellous facts, of which the following is one : — Lord 
Tarbat met a seer in the west of Ross-shire. He was working in 
a field, and Tarbat having observed him looking intently towards 
a hill above the place where he was working, asked him if he saw 
any thing. He replied that he saw a troop of soldiers leading their 
horses down the hill, and turning them loose to graze in a field of 
barley. This ™as on the 4th of May. In August of that same 
year, a party of soldiers under Colonel Middleton led their horses 
down the hill in question, and turned them loose to graze in the 
very field where the seer was sowing his barley in the previous 
May when- he saw them. 

This brief summary of the contents of Mr Kirk's pamphlet 
gives pretty well the substance of what was known 
of fairies two centuries ago, and all the stories gathered 
aince then, may be regarded as a mere amplification and fuller 
illustration of what was well-known and universally believed 
-about the time of the Reformation. 

In " Waifs and Strays of Celtic Tradition " we have a number 
of familiar stories of work done by fairies- -their tireless energy, 
the spells they laid upon people, how inanimate objects did their 
bidding, and how men outwitted them. The same is found in the 
pages of Kennedy's book regarding Irish fairies. As we advance 
we see a kind of Christianised Paganism opposing itself to the 
forces of demonology, and in accordance with the trend of the 
prevalent theology prevailing. For example : — A diligent house- 
wife is busily engaged preparing yarn for cloth. She is both 
careful and worldly. Sleep has departed from her eyes, and as 
tihe spins after the witching hour has struck, she keeps wishing 
she had some one to help her in her labours. Obedient to her 
wish a fairy enters and begins to spin, another comes and takes 
to carding the wool, then another and another, till they convert 
the house into a workshop, and the whirr of labour is heard afar. 
The husband sleeps and snores, nor is his rest disturbed by the 
busy scene. The wife provides refreshment for her guests, and 
they devour all she can give them — they are more materialistic 
than Kirk's. She now wished to be rid of them but could not, so 

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Fauns and Fairies. 271 

she hurried to a wise man. The seer told her that her husband was 
under a spell, and that she must return to the house, and before 
she enters shout three times — " Burgh ill is on fire ; " and when 
the fairies rushed out to see if their house was destroyed she must 
enter and disarrange everything in the house. This she did, and 
when the fairies returned one called out " Spinning wheel open 
the door." " I cannot, my band is off." And so all the other 
articles, wool cards, water pails, chairs, 'and tables. 

Fairy visits did not always end thus. The miller of Alva had 
his wife spirited away, and had infinite labour before recovering 
her ; while the smith of Tullibody saw his never no more. Work- 
ing a bar of iron he heard the abductors sing as they flew up the 
chimney — 

" Deedle Linkum Doddie,. 

We've gotten drunken Davie's wife, 

The smith of Tullibody." 

The theft of children was more frequent than the abduction of 
wives, and when a child was taken an elfin was substituted ; but 
they do not appear to have succeeded in grafting our heavier 
mortality on to their own aerial bodies. Even thefts were not 
always on one side, for a man rushing in upon a fairy festival and 
carrying off their drinking goblet could keep it as an heirloom 
and cornucopia for all time, if he only succeeded in crossing a 
running stream before being overtaken by the revellers whom he 
despoiled, a fact immortalised by the famous riding exploit of Tarn 
o' Shanter and his grey mare. One such fairy goblet is preserved 
at Edenhall, in Cumberland. This was secured by one of the 
ancient family of Musgrove, and while it is preserved prosperity 
attends their house ; but 

" If this glass do break or fall, 
Farewell the luck of Edenhall." 

A more useful motto than the rhyme of the Clydesdale ploughboys 
of a past generation, who believed if they but sang as they turned 
at the end of the rig, 

" Fairy, fairy, bake me a baunock and roast me a collop, 
And I'll gie ye a sportle aff my gad end," 

that at the fourth round these desirable delicacies should be there 
waiting for them. 

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272 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The fairies were on the whole a good-natured sportive folk r 
but touchy on matters of names, and revengeful of insults aud 
injuries. They differed from brownies or domestic spirit drudges. 
The latter were given to eavesdropping and tale-beariug, and 
frequently accused others when they were themselves the culprits. 
One who did drudgery for a very close-fisted Galloway matron, 
who gave her servants but poor fare and little of it, is a typical 
example. Two servant girls stole a bowl of milk and a bannock. 
In order to make a fair division of the spoil, they sat on a bench 
and took alternate mouthfuls of the bread and milk. Presently 
the one accused the other of taking more than her fair share, and 
was answered by a similar charge. Suddenly they were startled 
by a " Ha, ha ! Brownie has't ; Brownie tells." These domestic 
spirits and fairies blend together in many of our folk-lore stories. 
For example : — A steward during the winter months steals small 
quantities of his master's grain. In spring he has enough to sow 
a field for himself, which he does ; but when the corn is fully 
ripe, the fairies from a neighbouring Shi pull up every stalk, 
thrash it clean, and deposit the grain in the barn of the man from 
whom the seed was stolen. This is doubtless Brownie's work 
though attributed to fairies. It has besides a modern flavour, and 
leaves an uncomfortable impression of copy-book head-lines and 
adaptations, by some shrewd ecclesiastic in the days when fairies 
were still real beings, and scientists had not learned to call 
" brimstone" by its more modern name. 

But our fairy cult as a whole represents them as a free, 
rollicking, social pagan society — music and the dance, midnight 
rides and wanderings, elvish pranks and light laughter covers the 
canvas, and any departure from this can only be regarded as the 
growing spirit of austerity in the religious opinions of the people, 
and that this gave a gloomy bias to certain traditions and a moral 
or rather theological trend to others. This is borne out by the 
well-known fact that modern English fairies are more sportive 
than their Scotch cousins. Naturally the fairy legends tend all 
over Europe to merge into the common doctrines of demonology, 
and this is the more natural as the same process goes on among 
savage men, with every advance of thought, as we shall see. The 
green patches called " the guidman's croft," which our ancestors 
never disturbed with spade or ploughshare, were, though not 
expressly avowed within historic times, sacred to spirits, fairies, 
or pagan gods, and so passed over as by right of inheritance to the 
more modern devil. This is all the more certain, as beneficent 
gods were favourable to agriculture the world over, and the fairy 

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Fauns and Fairies. 273 

knowe and guid man's croft were left untilled, first from reverence ; 
then through fear of malign influences. Again, the Ourisk or 
domestic spirit resembles Pan, and is something between a goat 
and a man ; hence a goat's head being mnde representative of the 
devil. One of these Ourisks becomes troublesome to a miller down 
Lochlomond way. On being caught red-handed and challenged,, 
it give3 its name as " Myself." Here we have the " Outis " of the 
Odyssey, transferred from the shores of the Mediterranean to the 
banks of Lochlomond by a process of oral tradition which has 
gone on, the world over, since first men dispersed themselves and 
carried with them to their new abodes the little stock in trade 
with which the race emerged from its cradle. 

The working machinery of tradition the world over is a dwarf 
race and their doings. A people untamed and untamable, 
impalpable and invulnerable, and these we find in England as in 
Scotland ; dwelling in green glades in Dorset, in caves in Shet- 
land ; frequenting ancient ruins in the Highlands ; 'hid in the 
depths of the forest in Germany ; wandering on the mountain tops 
in East Central Africa ; and making their home with the Bengal 
tiger on the plains of India. They keep the Breton peasant in a 
state of perpetual fear, and their favour must be bought in New 
Caledonia. Clearly we must look for some explanation which will 
account for world-wide facts like these elsewhere than among the 
Scottish " Pechts," worthy burrowers as they must have been. 

The Celtic peoples of Europe being essentially an imaginative 
race, ascribe to their sylvan pigmies social and convivial 
qualities of which we hear nothing among peoples of different 
origin But this is nothing more than a detail resulting from 
special characteristics, both national and individual, and these 
social qualities freely ascribed by tradition to its heroes easily 
pass into an organised fairy society, corresponding to what 
existed during the oldest memories of the race preserving the 
traditions. Kings, queens, courts, courtiers, splendid halls, feasts, 
brilliant surroundings, loyalty, love, revenge — these are the 
necessary trappings in which the Celtic imagination clothes its 
puppets. These are the things most loved and sought after by 
any typical Celt. It is only when a seer — a seer of Christian 
times, be it observed — has a vision of elfland, that its glory turns 
to dust and ashes, and its banquets to tasteless and saltless 
insipidity. Then fairy bodies shrink into the shrivelled decrepi- 
tude of old age, and intercourse with them is converted into 
a social crime and deadly sin. 


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Nor could the Celtic imagination be otherwise, for the Celt 
himself is a curious bundle of contradictions. The man who in 
the early morning would commit the most cold-blooded murder 
to save his chief the trouble or danger of slaying an enemy later 
in the day, would spend the evening composing love ditties with 
no sense of incongruity. The chief himself, impoverished beyond 
the hope of solvency, assumes the airs of a man able to dispense 
princely hospitality without the slightest inconvenience or financial 
difficulty, and every clansman speaks of his chief as regal in 
dignity and princely in fortune, even should he have suffered the 
deepest indignities at his hands but a day before. Passion and 
poetry, love and revenge, cruelty and pathos, individual inde- 
pendence and absolute loyalty to the chief or the cause, blend 
together in the Celtic character with no sense of incongruity 
left, and the Celt is the same to day, or the breed and blood is 
the same, as when Somerled roved the Western seas, giving short 
shrift and a long halter, to any unfortunate wight who raised 
unnecessary scruples about adopting the clan name and wearing 
the heather badge. 

Sleeping on a dun-Shi exposed one to the danger of being 
transported to fairyland, leaving no trace of the unhappy 
wight's whereabouts except his bonnet placed on the top 
of some church steeple as he sped his aerial flight. But 
the journey was not always through the limped blue, for 
Jane Thomas travelled to elfland mounted on the " lady's 
own milk white steed," and left the north wind behind. 
It was not so long after the Rhymer made his famous pilgrimage 
to the farthest confines of elfland that a new bias was given to 
the graphic stories of a long-forgotten past. We find the Earl of 
Orrery sending his valet or butler to buy playing cards, which 
were now veritable " devil's books." While on his errand he was 
invited to join a fairy revel. This he refused to do, and hurried 
home ; but he was almost carried away bodily, though Lord Orrery 
and two bishops held him down — rather a poor certificate to the 
power of book, bell, and candle. 

It was possible to hold converse with fairy-land without 
journeying thither and taking up one's abode there. Bessie 
Dunlop met Thomas Reid, who was killed at Pinkie, and had long 
conferences with him. He stood by her and showed her fairy 
horsemen when others saw nothing. Through him she became 
familiar with all the mysteries of the unseen world, and at her 
trial gloried in her knowledge and power. Poor Bessie, whether 
luuatio or driven mad by torture we do not know, for all the 

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Fauns and Fairies. 275 

recoid we have of her is it note scrawled on the margin of the trial 
record — " Convict and burnt/ ' Alison Pearson was another who 
had her familiars from fairy-land. One William Simpson, a 
cousin, who was " taken away by a man of Egypt,* came to her 
clad in green, and told her what men may not know nor maidens 
drea-ri. He always left abruptly when adjured in God's name, 
which is another copy book headline if you please. Alison affected 
to cure diseases by elfine arts, and Patrick Adamson, Bishop of St 
Andrews, who suffered from some intractable malady, submitted 
to her cures. The old pagan was promptly "libelled" by his * 
peers. Besides effecting cures she delivered oracles. She met 
Lethington and Buccleuch in fairyland, and we can only hope that 
these turbulent spirits had a less stormy existence among the 
green knowes and the elves who dwell there, than they had as 
•courtiers and rebels by turns. Alison's fairy friends stole infants 
because they had to pay a yearly tribute to Tartarus, and mortal 
infants stolen helped to make up the tale. For her tamperi-ig 
with green men and dead politicians Alison Pearson followed 
Bessie Dunlop, and went to her own herd in lurid flames ; and 
men looked, and as they saw the smoke ascending, blessed God 
who had given power to holy men to root out evil-doers. 

Setting the legend of " True Thomas " aside, which is simply a 
Scotch version of Numa and Egeria, we have, in the statements of 
those who professed to hold converse with the unseen world, the 
imagination run riot after a confession had been wrung from them 
by torture. Once that was made, all subsequent statements were 
simply the grouping together and localising of all the folk-lore 
stones they knew. One can understand a woman with a distinct 
individuality tortured into a confession, and knowing she had 
neither love nor pity to expect, simply glorying in scandalising 
her legal and clerical examiners by each enormity she confessed. 
At this distance of time we cannot reduce to their original form 
the stories they adapted ; but certain it is that, after examination 
by torture, they personified the heroes of ancient story, and even 
this throws us back a step, and brings us nearer to the real fairy- 
land we are in search of. 

The Welsh Nicneven is but a hag, a bad reproduction of the 
Greek Hecate, and has little in common with the jolly and con- 
vivial Mab. The Morayshire trials do not add much to what we 
learn from the two already referred to. But they all point back 
to a time when woodland deities abounded, and when these passed 
into elves, fauns, and fairies. They are sportive or malevolent, 
according as the ideas of the Reformation or the pagan Renaissance 

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were pushed and almost forced upon the people. The old belief s y 
deities, superstitions, and traditions must be adapted or disposed 
of as the case may be. A death by summary violence they 
refused to accept ; but being violently driven out, and the 
tolerant indulgence of the older religion and science being no 
longer possible, the gods retired to fairyland. They continued to 
revisit mortals as guardian spirits, and in this form the Church 
found some use for them. A Banshi gave Macleod of Dun- 
vegan a fairy banner. It has already been in two battles, and 
each time was borne to victory. When it is next carried to the 
field of combat, Macleod will be carried away to fairyland, never- 
more to revisit Dunvegan with its scenes of song and story. 

The guardian fairy appears most frequently in Irish legend, 
and the minuteness of detail regarding time, place, and circum- 
stance, leaves no doubt as to the Irish Celts being animal 
worshippers. Myth is never so graphic as when it weaves actual 
facts into its narrative ; and the creditable way in which Irish 
domestic animals acquit themselves, reminds one of the Hottentot 
wolf which appeared at places a hundred miles apart in a single 
night. For example, a talented Irish bard satirised mice that 
troubled him, and at the same time lampooned domestic cats for 
allowing such vermin to put their noses into an egg he was 
eating. He was at Cruachan, in Connaught, at the time. The 
King of the Cats was at Knowth on the Boyne. No sooner did 
the senachan finish his rhymes than his feline majesty took the 
road under a vow to eat nothing till he had chastised the poet. 
Arrived at Cruachan, he seized the offender, carried him off, and 
swept across the Shannon with him, and would doubtless have 
borne him to Knowth, to be solemnly tried by a jury of cats, but 
St Kiaran, who was working a bar of hot iron, seeing a baptised 
person being carried away, shot the bolt at the abductor. It 
pierced the cat's body just one inch behind the man. He was 
saved, and the saint's labour rewarded. In this narrative the 
resolve to eat nothing, the timely appearance of the saint, and 
the fell design of the cat being frustrated because the p)et was 
baptised, reminds us too forcibly of that band of Jewish 
enthusiasts who vowed neither to eat nor drink till they had 
killed Paul. The ancient belief in the supernatural powers of 
animals is used as a foil to the saint's intuitive knowledge 
regarding baptised persons, and his power against all malign 
influences, the virtue of iron as a talisman being brought in as 
an incidental circumstance. 

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Fauns and Fairies. * 277 

Nor is this the only manner in which the priest appears in 
those fairy legends. The minister of Aberfoil did not record the 
method of recovering the stolen, but his Irish confrere gives us 
a means of knowing whether we have changelings in our cradles. 
One of these elfin imps was found to be always fretful and wailing. 
It ate what was given it, but never seemed to be satisfied or 
thrive. Doubts having arisen as to its being a fairy, it was 
arranged to have it baptised, and for that purpose it was, on the 
way to the priest's residence, carried across a stream. When 
crossing, the imp wriggled out of its wrappings, freed itself from 
the nurse's arms, and plunged into the water with a • " Ha ! ha ! 
ha ! " of derisive laughter. 

Reference has been made to the more sportive tendencies of 
English fairies as compared to the Scotch. The Irish have their 
own peculiar characteristics, and of these one is a strong tendency 
to faction fights. The man who at Ballinasloe fair asked the time 
of day, and then said, " Eleven o'clock, be jabers, and the divil a 
foight yet ! " was no keener for a riot than are some of these 
sylvan pigmies. Their hostile meetings were near streams, and 
a rushing noise as of wing-flapping was heard by seers on either 
side. This rushing noise moved and swayed from side to side, 
as do men when settling a disputed matter at a fair. As the 
noise went to this side or that, faint silvery bugling was heard as 
if to rally the combatants. The notes were strange and weird, 
differing from all human music, and impossible to reproduce on 
any known instrument. Their light bodies were heard falling 
into the water with a noise resembling that made by an angler's 
fly when fishing. After such falling noises shouts of victory 
could be heard filling the air, not as our harsh notes make the 
hills reverberate, but as a kind of low, wafting souud, as if the 
air itself moved and became audible, and so fell upon the senses 
like an enclosing medium. 

A prominent feature of Irish fairy lore is the Ban-Shi, or 
Guardian Spirit. She appeared to persons of pure Milesian origin, 
in whose veins there was not a trace of Norman blood, and 
announced to them certain future events. When an approaching 
death was to be made known, she appeared in mourning, and 
evinced all the outward signs of bereavement and sorrow. Closely 
allied to this guardian spirit is the fairy love. Respectable 
Presbyterians have had their fairy loves, to the no small scandal 
of their wives. The case of Fion's daughter is well known. She, 
according to high courtly etiquette, was, on being betrothed, given 
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Africans at this day, and to the guardian the bridegroom is 
responsible. The guardian consigns her to the care of another 
for added security, and he to the bridegroom. The bridegroom 
had a fairy love. She bullied and upbraided him ; told him false 
stories about the bride, but all to no purpose, for he loved the 
King's daughter. The fairy then turned her itito a hound, and a 
hound she remained. The husband stormed and raged ; the wife 
whined piteously, but all to no purpose. The fairy was obdurate 
till the husband came under a dreadful vow to renounce his wife 
for ever. Then she was restored to womauhood, while the hus- 
band vanished into elf-land, and still holds courtly revel when the 
moon is at the full. 

These general statements and examples, which might be 
indefinitely multiplied, illustrate with tolerable accuracy the fairy 
belief as it has come down to us in our own land. The whole field 
of fairy cult is too wide to be touched upon in a brief paper, and that 
just because we find similar traditions among peoples differing 
from each other in race, language, religion, institutions, customs, 
habits, and usages. And the question forces itself upon us, 
"Whence these legends so universal and persistent? Have they a 
common origin, and if so, can we trace it back to a once universal 
cult? or is it simply the result of a peculiar tendency of the 
human mind? Do legends, as we possess them, represent the 
faded memory of a lost race, or are they the dying nickers of a 
world religion ? And do the variations in details simply point to 
modifications and adaptations, or do they mark radical differences ? 
Are the traditions and accretions of Brahminism, Buddhism, 
Mohametanism, and Christianity, as these are modified by race,, 
locality, and social institutions, part of this once common cult ? 

These questions have been variously answered, and men have 
not even now arrived at a universally accepted solution. Only as. 
the sciences of antiquarian research, ethnology, and anthropology 
eliminate the modern from the ancient and pre-historic, can we 
hope to attain to definite results. If we look only at the fairies 
of our own land and their German cousins, we find Mr Macritchie 
and others arguing them into a race of dwarf inhabitants, whose 
memory has been obliterated by time, as they themselves were 
exterminated by the conquerors, and that they made their last 
retreat in underground dwellings, which still exist to prove beyond 
dispute the soundness of this conclusion. In order to identify the 
semi-mythical Fions with the fairies, he is driven to the necessity 
of converting the former into a race of dwarfs, and that on the sole 
ground that the exploits of certain dwarfs of that famous race are 

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Fauns and Fairies. 279 

preserved by tradition. He reminds us too that the knight- 
errants of old had each a dwarf attendant, a statement fatal to the 
theory of a war of exterminatipn on the part of the conquerors. 
Sons of fairywomen take service with the Fions, a somewhat 
unnecessary illustration if the Fions were themselves the fairies ! 

A bishop of Orkney appears to support the extermination 
theory, and gives names and places. One Haarfayr, a ninth 
century worthy, obliterates all trace of a whole people, and we are 
invited to believe that since then all memory of them has perished, 
and that we find neither waif nor stray to give evidence of their 
existence except the people clad in green. To the worthy church- 
man the Peti were an exceedingly small people. They worked 
with incredible energy at city building during the morning and 
evening, but were in daylight devoid of all strength and energy, 
and retired to their underground dwellings during the day. One 
asks with amazement why these dwarfs should work with incredible 
energy at city building if their homes were underground burrows ? 
and whether the zeal for building was inspired by the church 1 
The bishop, it is clear, does not advance our knowledge. Indeed, 
all ancient history lies under the suspicion of adaptation, and the 
sins of ecclesiastical history are more aggravated than those of 
secular narrative. 

But any facts are useful to support a theory, and the realists, 
or euhemerists, as they like to be styled, find, in the loss of 
strength during the day and alleged defective vision in sunlight 
by the good bishop's dwarfs, a sound reason for the identification 
of Fions and fairies. There is another line of argument — that 
based on root words and vocables. The name for an underground 
dwelling, in a language which could not be that of the original 
inhabitants, but that of the conquerors, affords strong presumption 
that they lived underground ; that they were dirty in their 
habits ; that their dens reeked of filth ; and that they themselves 
were but a modified kind of skunk as they emerged into the 
light of day, so evilly did they smell. 

It does not fall within the scope of this paper to take 
account of underground human dwellings. War and con- 
quest, possibly partial extermination, may have given colour 
to many fairy legends. It may be pointed out that 
certain south-east African tribes live habitually underground in 
earth excavations. These are not their only dwellings, and are 
used for security or concealment, or both. The slight basket hut, 
with its straw roof, is a poor citadel to defend. It is easily fired 
by an enemy, and then the inmates can be speared at leisure as 

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they emerge from the burning dwelling. The underground 
burrow cannot be so easily destroyed, even if it is discovered, no 
easy matter as a rule, and this is especially the case at night. 
So the native in time of piofound peace occupies the more airy 
and healthy hut. In times of war or danger he lives in his hut 
by day, but retires to his underground chamber at night. And 
any one seeing and entering a sentry cell in Angoui land ceases 
to wonder at the small size of many similar chambers found in 
underground dwellings in Scotland. A man crouching with, his 
chin between his knees does not need a high vaulted roof. Our 
own earth houses, doubtless, served a similar purpose in the wild 
and lawless days of old, when clan feuds were rife and fire the 
most effectual weapon in rooting out a troublesome sept. The 
ordinary houses were wattle ; the strongholds burrows. That 
fire was a ready means of warfare within historic times we know, 
and the name of at least onu Highland parish is evidence of the 

The fairy cult is world-wide, and to account for it we must 
travel farther afield than Highland Brochs, Fion Kings, and 
Gaelic particles, and go back to a time when man looked upon 
nature as the true divinity, and worshipped her in the person of 
his chief, and then in sylvan deities who for him were the per- 
sonification of the powers of nature. To gain a clear understanding 
of such worship our appeal must not be to Highland fairies, their 
English cousins and German kinsfolk, where primitive beliefs have 
been compelled into the service of the varying phases of the 
historical religions professed from century to century, and made 
and re-made to suit the predominant bias. Our appeal must be, 
in the first instance, to people who have remained practically 
'unchanged through millenniums, and who to-day perform the 
same acts of worship, and revere the same deities which inspired 
the world with awe in days when the remote ancestors of the 
Chaldean astrologers gazed upon the stars and read the fate of 
nations and individuals indifferently, as written in the heavens, or 
in the spots found on the entrails of a decapitated cock. 

Among such peoples we do not expect to find a fairy tradition, 
for the fairies themselves are there. Our popular tales are being 
daily enacted. Spirits live and move and regulate the course of 
nature. They are beneficent or revengeful ; sportive or cruel, as 
they are treated. They know pride, anger, jealousy, and revenge. 
They demand victims and abduct persons. They take an active 
interest in the affairs of men, and insinuate themselves into the 
most profound secrets. They feast on the essence of food, eapeci- 

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Fauns and Fairies. 281 

ally that offered in sacrifice. Their bodies are aerial and impalpable, 
and they have been known to raise the dead. These they carry 
away to spirit land with their ghost bodies ; and some of them have 
been seen after the manner of the minister of Aberfoil, who 
appeared once, after he went to his own herd. 

Let us now illustrate these general statements. The priest of 
primitive man was lord of the world at will, and regulated the powers 
of nature for the benefit of his people. He was spoken of as king, 
and his sphere of action as a kingdom, and, so far as we know, all 
early kings performed priestly functions. With the growth of 
thought, the offices were separated, and the priesthood remained 
the sacred order who had *to do with all supernatural phenomena. 
"* The divine right of kings appeared at a later period of the world's 
history, and after men had ceased to fear the supernatural power 
of the priest. The savage man of to-day, like his savage fore- 
father, Joes not distinguish accurately between the natural and 
supernatural. To him the whole world is regulated by super- 
natural agents, that is, by persons who act on impulses like his 
own ; and these agents can be influenced by appeals made to them. 
This speedily leads to the idea of a man god, and passes in process 
of time into ancestor worship. These stages of progress we 
can trace among existing races. Sacred men worshipped here, 
retire unto the unknown by natural death or violence — more 
frequently the latter — when the spirit of the departed king is 
supposed to enter his successor, and still continue to take an 
interest in human affairs. A weak king professes to have seen 
his predecessor and received oracles from him, and the spot 
becomes a shrine. At these sacred places spirits reveal the future 
to seers, and popular imagination makes the shrine the home of 
the ancestors ; a kind of dwelling place for deity. The deities of 
primitive man, in other words the priests, could control nature at 
will, and this power every savage man has less or more. A Fiji 
Islander, who fears to be belated, ties the tops of a handful of 
reeds together, and this delays the going down of the sun. An 
Indian of Yucatan pulls out a few of his eyelashes, and throws 
them sunward for a like purpose. By placing a handful of grass 
on the path and a stone over it, the African both retards the 
sunset and causes his friends at home to keep the evening meal 
waiting his arrival. Conversely the setting of the sun can be 
hastened when that is desired, as in a doubtful engagement. By 
similar processes wind and rain, heat and cold, can be controlled, 
all of which goes to show that, savage man fails to recognise those 
limitations to his own powers which are so obvious to us. But 

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282 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

with the advance of thought, and the evolution of a sacred caste, 
we find methods of attaining to inspiration and power which bring 
us nearer our friends the fairies. In the temple of Apollo at 
Argos, a lamb was slain once a month. The prophetess tasted 
the blood, and then divined, being god-inspired. In Achaia the 
earth priestess drank from the blood of a bull, just slain, before 
descending into the cave of prophecy. In Southern India the 
devil dancer drinks the blood of a slain goat, putting his mouth to 
its throat, and is then inspired. He snorts, he stares, he dances 
and gyrates. The demon takes complete possession of him, and 
he is then worshipped as a present deity. All this brings us 
nearer to Kirk's account of fairy food as being the essence or life- m 
giving properties of our common fare. 

Nor is this nil. In the religious history of the Aryan races 
tree worship was one of the most potent factors of national and 
domestic life, and (Jrimm supposes the forest glades were the first 
sanctuaries of the human race. This we can easily understand ; 
for even at the dawn of our own era the larger portion of Europe 
consistel of dense forests, and what clearings were made must 
have appeared as islets in t au ocean of green. Need we wonder that 
fairy folk ever dress in the universal nature colour. The Lithuan- 
ians, who were not converted to Christianity till the fourteenth 
century, were at that date tree worshippers, and begged St 
Jerome not to cut down their sacred groves. A form of worship 
so common and so widespread must have had some basis <• n which 
it rested — a philosophy such as satisfied the instincts of millions, and 
that philosophy came down from savage man. To him all nature 
is animate. The spirit of reproduction dwells in trees, in corn, and 
grass. Spirits of men do not difter essentially from these, for here, 
too, reproduction is the great factor of existence, and as the spirit 
of the decayed vegetation lives through the winter and re-animates 
the world in spring, so human spirits retire to the unknown 
depths of the forest, but not to perish. They live and re-appear. 
Siamese monks believe trees have souls, and that to lop off a 
branch is equivalent to severing a nuin's hand from his body. 
These monks are, of course, Buddhists ; but the Animism of 
Buddhism is not a philosophic theory evolved by itself. It is 
simply a common savage dogma incorporated into the system of 
an historical religion. Buddhism simply borrowed it from pagan 
savagery. And pagan savagery treats a clove tree in blossom as 
it does a pregnant woman. No noise must be made near it, and 
no light carried past it ; whoever approaches it must uncover his 
head. In the Philippine Islands the souls of the ancestors inhabit 

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Fauns and Fairies. 282 

well-known trees. In Kabongo the reigning monarch has a safe 
keeping place for his soul in a grove. In Assam, when a child is 
lost, it has been stolen by the spirits of the wood. In Sumatra,, 
when a native fells a tree he plants a young one in its place, and 
hangs some betal root upon it. This is the new home offered to 
the spirit that dwelt in the tree that has been cut down, and who 
otherwise might bo homeless. 

In these beliefs and customs the tree itself is animate 
under the earlier forms of religious thought. Then an important 
advance is made, and the tree becomes the abode of a spirit, 
which can leave it and take up its home elsewhere. These spirits 
dwelling in trees gradually resolve themselves into departed souls, 
giving us the material on which the whole system of ancestor 
worship is founded. It explains why the old Prussians believed 
gods inhabited high oak trees, and why the Lithuanians begged St 
Jerome not to cut down their sacred groves, as from the spirits 
dwelling there they had obtained sunshine and rain, summer heat 
and winter snows. It throws light on the well known dogma that 
tree spirits make horses multiply and bless women with off- 

At Gilgit there is an annual custom at wheat-sowing, of which 
the following are the essential facts : — Branches of the sacred 
cedar are brought from the mountain forest. After various 
ceremonies each villager goes home with a few sprigs of the cedar, 
but to find the door of his house shut in his face. The wife asks 
from within, " What do you bring," to which he replies, " Children 
if you wish them ; food if you require it ; cattle ; whatever you 
want ;" she then opens the door and says, " Sou of the fairies, you 
have come from far," and sprinkles him all over with flour. 
Among civilized peoples tree festivals are continued in May-day 
and midsummer customs. Men's opinions change ; their philosophy 
developes ; religious revolutions come suddenly or slowly ; but 
customs and ceremonial acts remain, and the old order weaves 
itself into myth and legend, and myth is always mo3t graphic 
when it describes what actually took place and colours it in the 
imaginations of many centuries. 

Our brief survey of tree spirits leads us to this : — The tree 
spirit passes into a person. This person is king of the wood ; 
under his influence vegetation revives, rain falls, domestic animals 
increase, and people multiply. Festivals are held in honour of 
this sylvan deity, who presently emerges into the doctrine of souls 
and ancestral worship. Man at this stage has travelled a long 
way on that upward ladder of progress which the race has followed 
from its cradle. 

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The soul of primitive man wns exposed to various forms of 
danger, and against these precautions were taken. A safe keeping- 
place for his soul was an essential to a ruler. The soul was an 
exact reproduction of the body in miniature. It was invisible 
except to seers. During sleep or a swoon it was absent from the 
body, and its return might be prevented by an enemy who was a 
magician, or through the person being removed from the place 
where the soul left him. Then if a man saw his own reflection in 
a dark pool or reflecting surface his soul might be snatched away 
and lost ; so men, kings more particularly, were surrounded with 
taboos to secure their safety. Nor did this always suffice, for 
many rulers selected secure keeping-places for their souls at a 
distance from their residence, as a sacred grove, a spring, or an 
inaccessible pinnacle of rock. These places the imagination 
peoples with spirits, the souls of the living and the dead, for what 
more natural when a man died than that his soul should continue 
to reside where he had placed it. It knew the locality, and took 
an interest in it while its owner lived. And if it remained there 
it- interest would continue unabated, and would influence the 
course of events as when the king lived. It entered his successor 
it is true, but duality of existence presents no difficulties to savage 
philosophy. But there were frequently rival chieftains, and so a 
rivalry among souls would naturally follow, and this suggests two 
things— First, the frequent trials of strength among the gods of 
mythology, and the doctrine of beneficent and evil spirits. To 
follow this further is foreign to our present purpose. 

While the country was largely forest-clad, woodland deities 
ruled supreme, and could hardly be said to divide their power with 
water spirits, which figure in all mythologies. As clearings 
increase J and forest fires laid bare large tracts of country, or as 
men wandered north w T ards to regions of ice and snow, the altered 
conditions necessitated a re-adjustment of sacred places and the 
homes of divinity. Where a sylvan shrine existed before a great 
fire the spot would remain sacred, or the gods would betake them- 
selves to the shelter of an over-hanging cliff. Tradition peoples 
such spots with the self-same divinities who dwelt in the forest 
glades when youths and maidens worshipped dancing in the glint- 
ing moonlight. 

Nor is this mere conjecture, for we only need a haunted room 
in some baronial hall to make it in after ages the scene of midnight 
revel and the home of ghosts, whose pale outlines are seen by the 
fearful as a fitful light shows athwart the open casements when 
winter winds are high. The mountain slopes and low-lying fens, 

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Fauns and Fairies. 285 

once covered with forests and resonant with the songs of birds, now 
bare and lifeless, presented to the cowering savage a picture of 
awful desolation, and he peopled them with those spirits which his 
imagination pictured as solitary and evil, while the good clung to 
any remaining clusters of trees or raised green mounds. 

Next comes the rude hand and new religion of the conqueror 
to shatter all that remained of the ancient faith. It perishes, 
vanishing as if it had never been, and the new takes its place and 
retains it. But the memory of the old remains, and men look back 
in a kindly way to the past, and children hear with awestruck 
wonder stories of the ancient days when spirits walked at noonday. 
They learn to reverence the spots where they dwelt, and in their 
play rehearse the doings of the gods. And then some one hears 
in the green mound where the ancestors hide, the strains of a 
forgotten music, and before his fevered vision ghostly figures glint 
in the moonlight, and he dreams dreams of a vanished glory. As he 
recounts his vision, his enthusiasm kindles, his narrative becomes 
real, and the youth who hear know he has been to fairyland. 
He saw the mighty de,ad ; he heard music sung by immortals ; he 
is inspired : a seer for evermore. 

By such processes does tradition weave together the imaginary 
and the real, blending them into a golden web of the past and a 
mysterious present, till with rude hand the fabric is thrown down, 
and men make a new advance in thought. They do not forget the 
past; they adapt it, and the adaptation is determined by the new cult. 
Buddhism seizes on it, and claims it as its own. Christianity bans 
it as of the devil, indulgently at first, then with stern visage and 
legal sanctions. The dreams of the past are banished into hidden 
corners, and men, women especially, fear the thumbscrew and the 
faggot, if it should be suspected that they hold converse with this 
forbidden world and eat its baneful fruit. If men do recount the 
deeds of the past, and the frolics of spirits in the green woods, they 
are careful to weave a kind of latter-day moral into the tale. 

As the memory of sylvan deities and guardian ancestois wanes 
and waxes dim while tradition persists, men imagine that the 
tradition is but the distorted history of a race of men who lived, 
and felt, and suffered, and vanished. Races of men are created 
and then exterminated, leaving a few solitary wanderers, the sole 
witnesses of a vanished world. A burrow is made and a human 
dwelling found. It was the home of a chief of the vanished race. 
A name of doubtful derivation is met with. It is a word preserved 
from a lost language. The man who dwelt in that house was a 
fairy — the lost language his speech ; and so our sylvan denizens 

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*286 Gaelic Society of Inverness. , 

become mere eaters of flesh and abductors of children to avenge 
political wrongs. 

It has already been said that our familiar fairy cult is a 
complex thing. It is composed of materials supplied by tradition, 
and has no doubt drawn from stories of battle, murder, and 
revenge ; and here prehistoric materials are to be met with. But 
on the other hand it contains a vast mass of legend regarding the 
older religious beliefs and unexplained phenomena. Man as he 
advanced left behind him at each stage a whole world of unex- 
plained facts. He progressed along certain lines, and left collateral 
branches of knowledge to be the sport of tradition. This entered 
into popular folk-lore, and became in a measure the common 
heritage of all nations. We have also to take account of sudden 
noises, rappings, musical sounds, movement of objects without 
apparent cause, and that curious group of experiences we may class 
under second sight, as well as prolonged trance or suspended 
animation. All these and many other factors enter into our 
familar legends, and give to the fairies a local colour and historic 
setting. That many unexplained facts exist, we, most of us, have 
had experience, and though science may be moving in the direction 
of a more rational explanation than hitherto, nothing very satis- 
factory has yet appeared. The noises heard in Wesley's house at 
Epworth are as well authenticated as any fact can be, and yet no 
better than many similar phenomena elsewhere. Our modern 
telepathy may do something to explain the facts, or it may find 
itself worsted as the Wesley s did in their attempts to set the 
spirits to do some useful work. 

We now return to the fairies and their habits as these are 
described by Kirk and Martin. The former Went to his own herd 
in 1692 ; the latter wrote about 1695, so that their evidence is 
contemporary. Both men were close observers, and each in his 
own way had rare glimpses of science. To them fairy bodies are 
congealed air, impalpable and invisible except to seers. They know 
nothing of their having any built dwellings. Their habitations 
are fairy hills, nothing more. They are diminutive and have the 
human form reproduced in their miniature bodies. To the savage 
in Africa, India, the South Seas, America, and Tartary the soul is 
a reproduction of the body. It is in miniature, but is fat or lean, 
long or short as the man is. It is aerial and impalpable ; it is 
invisible except to the magician ; it is capable of living apart from 
the body and going long journeys in an incredible short space of 
time ; it may breakfast in Senegal and dine in America ; it feed 8 
on the essence of our grosser fare and impoverishes what it eats of. 

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Fauns and Fairies. 287 

Id fairy stories men are often placed under spells and lose 
sense and reason till restored with infinite labour by a seer. So 
;ire men whose souls are stolen and detained in savage lands. 
When a funtral passes through a village the Karens of Burmah 
tie their children to an article of furniture with a special kind of 
string lest their souls should be drawn away with the dead. And 
at the grave those who bring the body provide themselves with a 
bamboo slit lengthwise, and a small stick. When the earth is 
filled iu each man thrusts his bamboo down into the grave and 
draws his stick along the groove to show his soul the way out 
should it by any chance be down with the dead. 

The good people of Aberfoil heard a noise as if men were 
working on anvils, but the Polynesian ancestral spirits can 
remodel a whole village in a single night, while a Wazerema 
sylvan deity can box an offender's ears till he sees new constella- 
tions ; and a Bougo spirit can make the forest resound again to 
the beat of drum. Fairies change their abode quarterly ; but 
the Gaboon spirits are made to change, being driven out by the 
long-suffering inhabitants. They, too, can float on air, and make 
a low, musical noise, or a crepitating sound, should they leave in 
anger. Fairies have their orders. African spirits have theirs, and 
settle faction-fights like any Irish pigmies of them all. But these 
are the usual trappings of ancestral deities the world over. Even 
men's souls, temporarily absent from their bodies, may meet and 
fight, with much damage to their owners; and stories are on 
record of Burmese souls doing each other grievous harm. Nor 
are such wandering souls absent at banquets and funerals. They 
hover round the corpse to snatch away the soul to join their own 
company. When seen, they may appear in any guise, and seers 
have difficulty in distinguishing between the soul of a living person 
and a disembodied spirit. The minister of Aberfoil does not 
record the method of restoring the stolen, but the Karens know 
all about the recapture of an abducted soul ; and a Samoan seer 
can fit a man with another soul should his own be Jost or stolen 
beyond hope of recovery. In Hawaii souls were caught and shut 
up in calabashes ; and the seers of Danger Island set soul traps 
fitted to catch those of different sizes. Against these dangers 
charms must be used, from bits of reed to iron ; and when these 
fail, the lost may be restored by means well known to every 
savage man. 

The death messenger from Elf-land, so Mr Kirk tells us, 
might be appeased by the death of an animal. A Pondo con 
Ueinned to die may, with the consent of his chief, redeem his 

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288 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

life by the sacrifice of an ox and a fine ; among other tribes, by 
the substitution of a slave. Wounds inflicted by elf arrows were 
mortal, and woe betide the savage who is touched by a weapon 
from the spirit world. And the spirits of savage man have their 
local habitations, places where they have lived time out of mind, 
like our own little hill folk. 

In our fairy cult we meet with facts not easily explained from 
the analogy of savage custom. Men whose souls are stolen, and 
wander in forests in a kind of waking sleep, give a clue to fairy 
spells ; but the abduction of wives and children must belong to a 
later era, and may be a faint re-echo of old classic stories, or the 
record of an experience not at all uncommon in lawless lands. 
The changeling would follow as a kind of corollary to the abduc- 
tion ; or it is a faint and fading memory of the savage dictum that 
animals, as wolves, may, under the influence of evil spirits or 
wicked magicians, Hubstitute their own cubs for children they 

These parallel illustrations, or some of them, are capable of 
being pushed too far ; but in regard to a world-wide cult, they 
appear to aiford a more rational explanation than the extermina- 
tion of the inhabitants of whole continents. For, if the theory 
holds good in regard to, the "Pechts," it must be true regarding 
aboriginal races the world over, whose very names and memory 
have perished utterly. Yes, and their bones too, for of fossil dwarfs 
we have none. 

That the earliest objects of worship were the chiefs who ruled 
and regulated nature for the benefit of the tribe there seems no 
reasonable doubt. That this merged into nature-worship, and 
that into adoration of ancestral spirits we have ample evidence to 
support in the condition of savage lands of to-day. To this rale 
the nations of Europe were no exception. From well-known 
facts the world over, we are not permitted to doubt the residence 
of ancestral spirits in particular localities, and by all the rules of 
reasoning, in our own country also. These ancestral spirits were 
diminutive, corresponding to the souls of living men. They 
migrated from place to place, and their influence was felt in all 

A savage is nothing if he is not religious, and when, with the 
development of thought, higher religions claimed his homage, the 
past remained as a fading memory. Imagination clothed it with 
a halo of glory, and the midnight revels of elves and fauns and 
fairies preserve to us the more human and social aspects of what 
was to primitive man a stern reality. Christianity, first tolerant, 

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Minor Highland Families. 289 

for whatever be the merits or demerits of the Roman form of it, 
it was in the early days wisely human and tolerant of the vanish- 
ing paganism which it displaced, then less tolerant, and, finally 4 
reformed and austere with its rigid code of morals and conduct, 
it obliterated the last traces of pagan pageantry in its own worship 
and in social life. It almost compelled fires'de stories to 
take a kind of Hanoverian hue to the glory of the Prince 
of Orange. So Scotland bade farewell, a sorrowful fare- 
well, it may be, to its satyrs and its elves; its fauns and its 
fairies; its sunset wanderers and midnight revellers, and left it 
to this and kindred societies to rescue from oblivion the last 
remnants of a world to which we can hardly look back without 
a sigh, and wish we could feel 

" As free as nature first made man, 
When wild in woods the noble savage ran." 

26th FEBRUARY, 1897. 

At the meeting this evening, Dr James Macrae, Newcastle, 
and Mr P. J. Sinton, Fort- William, were elected members of 
the Society. Thereafter the Assistant-Secretary read a paper 
contributed by Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, Esq. of Drummond, 
entitled " The Robertsons of Inshes, ' in continuation of his 
interesting series of papers to the Society on " Minor Highland 
Families." The paper was as follows : — 


The Robertsons of Inshes were honourably connected with 
the burgh and parish of Inverness for over four hundred years. 
Through the kindness of the last proprietor, Mr Arthur John 
Robertson, known as " The Laird" so well in and about Inver- 
ness, I was favoured many years ago with the perusal and 
liberty of taking some notes from the singularly well kept 
papers of the family. In their papers the family took great 
pride, and had them looked over by several antiquarians, such 
as the late Mr Alexander Mackenzie of Woodside, Mr George 
Anderson, and others. Mr Arthur Robertson, grandfather oj 
the late laird, was a frequent correspondent of the well-knowi! 


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290 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

collector, a century ago, General Hutton, some of whose papers 
connected with Inverness and the North are in the Advocates' 
Library, Edinburgh. 

The first Robertson of whom there is authentic note was 

1. Duncan Robertson, a cadet of the Robertson's of Strowan, 
undoubted head of the Clan Donnachie, and the Inshes family 
are mentioned as one of his kindred clan by the celebrated 
Alexander Robertson of Strowan, warrior and poet, one of 
whose letters to Inshes, dated " Hermitage, 20 July 1742," will 
be found hereafter quoted. 

From the deed of 1448 after-mentioned, this Duncan would 
presumably have been born not later than 1400. 
The first charter in existence is a charter by 

2. Robert, Duncan's son, burgess of Inverness, to William 
Michael, burgess of Inverness, of his particate of land, lying 
on the east side of Domesdale, Inverness (Castle Street), in form 
of pledge, dated Inverness, 20 April, 1448, the witnesses being 
Patrick Fergusson, Walter John's son, Richard Logie, John 
Thomas, junior, Johnr Gray, and John William. The three 
seals originally attached have disappeared, but the document 
itself is in good preservation, and like most ante-Reformation 
writs, brief, and of beautiful caligraphy. 

I gave Duncan the first as born about 1400, as his son 
must have been major by 1448. Robert was succeeded by his 

3. John, father of William and Laurence. This Laurence 
Robertson, described as "Burgess of Inverness," acquired, 28th 
July, 1517, a house at the head of Bridge Street, south or west 
side, from Henry Deval, Prior of the Order of Fratres Predi- 
mtores, which, as probably the only unthatched house in Inver- 
ness, is styled the " Sklait House." The seal of the Monastery, 
of great rarity, is engraved in " Invernessiana." 

4. William was father of 

5. John, a powerful man, whose designation, " Stalwart 
John," has been handed down, by family tradition and other- 
wise, as naving been standard bearer to Lord Lovat At the 
battle' of Biar-na-leine, 1544. He was one of the very few who 
survived, and having afterwards married, was succeeded by his 

6. William Robertson "Elder," burgess of Inverness, in 
connection with whom there are several burghal documents 

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Minor Highland Families. 291 

extant. One is an association by the Council and community of 
Inverness, in favour of William Robertson to build " a timber 
shop opposite to the Tolbooth." Mr James Robertson writes 
from Poland to get a certificate of gentle birth from the 
Provost, magistrates, and clergy of Inverness, " as being second 
son of William Robertson, some time Bailie and one of the 
Town Council of Inverness, who was son of John Robertson, 
Bailie and Councillor of Inverness." That his mother was 
" Margaret Paterson, daughter of William Paterson, Bailie of 
Inverness, and of Agnes, daughter of Hugh Rose of Kilravock. 
The father's mother was daughter of Sir Thomas Urquhart of 
Cromarty. I observe a memorandum that William Robertson 
died 1631, aged 72, and was therefore born in 1559, 

7. And that John Robertson, 7th, was born when his 
father was 25, or in 1584. 

It was in time of this John that the Robertsons established 
themselves as landowners in the parish. John had many 
struggles, becoming ultimately victorious through the assistance 
and counsel of his wife, Janet Sinclair. The Barony of Cul- 
cabock, including Knockintinnel, and the littte Haugh below, 
next the sea, were a great attraction in the eyes of John and 
his wife. Being the only freehold in the neighbourhood, these 
lands had particular value. Between the Leys, Culduthel, and 
Hilton, on the one side, and Culloden on the other, the whole 
land, except that small part of the Castlehill estate called the 
" Barony of Castlehill," were part of the old forest of Draikies, 
granted to the Burgh of Inverness, extending from the Miln 
Burn to the Mount of Daviot, and comprehending Inshes, its 
hill lands and woods, and the lands of Bogbain. 

The superiority of Culcabock was vested in the Hays of 
Mayne, and in property in that of Paterson. Alexander Hay 
of Mayne is infeft in Culcabock 7th Nov., 1498, and is suc- 
ceeded by William Hay, whose seal to a charter, dated 8th July, 
1521, is in fine preservation. After this William, the superi- 
ority drops out of the Hay family until 1618, when James VI. 
.grants a charter to William Hay. Same year the King grants 
a charter to John Grant. 

The first name I have observed as actual possessor of Cul- 
cabock was Sir William Paterson, rector of Boleskine, found in 
1500. No doubt he was one of the family of Paterson, at this 
and for one or two centuries later so numerous and influential 
in and about Inverness. Sir Thomas Paterson, rector of 
Assynt, is served heir to his grand-uncle, Sir William Paterson, 

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292 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

in Culcabock, Knockintinnel, etc., at Inverness, 21st July, 1513. 
The inquest included the lands of Durris, of the value of 24 
merks, while Culcabock was valued at 20 merks, and in time of 
peace at 12 merks, was held before Hugh Rose of Kilravock, 
Sheriff -Depute, and the following inquest : — Alexander Cumyng 
of Altyre, Andrew Kinnaird of that Ilk, Alexander Urquhart 
of Burdsyards, David Douglas of Pittendreich, Alexander 
Brodie of that Ilk, William Dallas of Budgate, Henry Dallas 
of Cantray, Robert Steuart of Clava, Andrew Munro of Davoch- 
cartie, Alexander Denune of Davidston, William MacCulloch 
of Plaids, Angus MacCulloch of Tarrel, John Corbet of Easter 
Ard, Alexander Nicolson of Freirost, James Murray of Focha- 
bers, John Cuthbert of Auld Castlehill, Walter Rose of Kin- 
stearie, Walter Douglas of Cramond, James Tullocb, de eode?n> 
George Dunbar of Moy, and William Douglas, burgess of 

A few years later, Elizabeth Paterson is found as owner, 
together with her husband's name, Andrew Jak, and on her 
resignation, a charter is granted by the superior to John Grant 
of Glenmoriston, therein described " of Elachy," in 1520, one 
of the witnesses being Gordon Lesslie, rector of Kingussie. 
This John Grant, son, as handed down by tradition, of the 
Laird of Grant by the Baron of Kincardine's daughter, is 
obliged to obtain an apostolic license for the legitimation of 
his own children and the binding nature of his marriage with 
Agnes Fraser. The license is granted by Marcus, Patriarch, 
by authority of Pope Paul, on 30th April, 1544, wherein John 
Grant is described as " Laicus Moraviensis," and Agnes simply 
" Mulier." Inshes, as I nave said, had his eye on the property, 
and in the first place, lent money over it to Glenmoriston. The 
latter failing to pay, adjudication was taken out, and a title 
completed. Further steps against Glenmoriston, with the view 
of Inshes entering into actual possession of Culcabock, were 
violently resisted. Inshes nimself was captured by stratagem 
at Inverness, and carried off to the West, his farms were burnt, 
and his tenants and himself spuilzied. Though some of these 
violent proceedings occurred chiefly in the time of William, 8th 
of Inshes, they may be properly referred to briefly at this 
point, having begun in John Robertson's time. Sir Hugh 
Campbell of Calder exerted himself for Glenmoriston, with the 
view of an adjustment. The Bishop of Moray is prayed to 
order a public subscription to compensate Inshes' losses, and 
finally, in 1664, Glenmoriston had to succumb. Upon 27th 
January, 1664, the following Bond of Caution under law- 
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Minor Highland Families. 293 

burrows is given by Hugh Fraser of Struy in favour of Glen- 
moriston : — 

" I, Hugh Fraser of Struy, by the tenor hereof Bind and 
oblige me my heirs executors and successors, as cautioner and 
surety in lawburrows, for John Grant of Glenmoriston, That 
Master William Robertson of Inshes and his men, tenants, 
their servants, wives, bairns and families shall be harmless and 
skaithless of the said John Grant and of his men, tenants, and 
dependers on his lands, heritages, taiks, steadings, rooms, pos- 
sessions, corn, cattle, guids and gear. And that they nor none 
of them shall be anyways troubled nor molested thereuntil by 
the said uohn Grant, nor that his tenants, servants, followers, 
or dependers, nor by any other of his or their causing, sending, 
hounding out, command receipt assistance or ratihabition 
directly or undirectly in time coming, otherwise than by order 
of law and justice, under the pain of one thousand merks Scots 
money, likeas I, the said John Grant, further bind and oblige 
me my heirs executors and successors to free and release my 
said cautioner and his above specified at all hands and 
against all mortals. Subscribed at Davochfour, 27 January 
1664, before Alexander Mackintosh, fiar of Connage, Capt. 
William Robertson, merchant, burgess of Inverness, Angus 
Mackintosh of Daviot, and others." 

The following extract from a similar Bond of Caution in 
lawburrows, granted same date and place, by Glenmoriston, for 
his family and clan, is interesting from its full enumeration of 
the people of Glenmoriston in 1664. 

John Grant of Glenmoriston binds himself to free William 
Robertson of Inshes and his, and harmless and skaithless keep 
them from attack or molestation by 

1 John Grant, tutor of Glenmoriston. 

2, 3 John and William Grants, his lawful sons. 

4 John Mac Neil in Invermoriston. 

5 Ewen Mac Iain beg there. 

6 Duncan Roy Mac Homas vie William there. 

7 Alexander an Greasich there. 

8 Patrick Smith there. 

9 Donald Mac Conchie mor there. 

10 Donald Mac Iain beg vie Iain roy there. 

11 Christopher Mac Coil vie Iain roy there. 

12 John Mac Alister dhu there. 

13 Donald Mac William vie Iain roy there. 

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294 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

14 Angus Mac Iain vio Neil there. 

15 Duncan Mac Iain vie Neil there. 

16 Donald Mac Hamish vie Couter there. 

17 Donald Mac Finlay vie Iain roy in Blairie, 

18 Ewen Mac Gillie Cnriosd there. 

19 John Mac Ewen vie Gillie Chriost there. 

20 John Mac Iain reoch there. 

21 Duncan Mac Coil vie Iain in Duldreggan mor. 

22 John Mac Coil buy there. 

23 John Mac Fionlay, brebiter, there. 

24 Duncan Macintyre there. 

25 Donald Mac Iain vie Coil buy there. 

26 Ewen Mac Iain roy there. 

27 William Mac Allister vie Ewen there. 

28 Ewen Mac Allister vie Ewen ban in Duldreggan beg. 

29 Donald Mac Angus roy there. 

30 Finlay mor Mac Coil there. 

31 John buy Mac an Taillear there. 

32 Soirle Mac Iain vie Soirle there. 

33 Donald Mac Aonas vie Coil there. 

34 John dhu Mac Iain vie William in Dalchregart mor. 

35 Duncan Mac Allister vie Ewen there. 

36 Allister vie Ewen there. 

37 Gillespie Mac Conchie vie Ruarie there. 

38 John Mao Iain dhu vie Iain in Dalchregart beg. 

39 Dugald Mac Iain his son there. 

40 Duncan ban Mac Iain vie Coil there. 

41 Ferquhar Mac Iain glas there. 

42 John Mac Conchie vie Iain vie Coil there. 

43 Duncan Mac Iain vie Conchie his son there. 

44 Duncan Fergusson Mac Iain glas there. 
. 45 Duncan Mac Gillespie there. 

46 Donald Mac Iain there. 

47 Donald ban Mac Conchie vie Coul in Craskie. 

48 Ewen Mac Conchie vie Ruarie there. 

49 William Mac Coul there. 

50 Donald Hamish there. 

51 Donald roy vie Coul there. 

52 John Grant, Duncan's son, in Inach. 

53 Malcolm Mac Iain vie Iain rov there. 

54 Lachlan Mac Allan vie Harlich in Achlean. 

55 John ban Mac Coil vie Neil there. 

56 John Mac Ewen ban in Inchvalraig ( ?). 

57 Rorie Mao Coil vie Ewen there. 

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Minor Highland Families. 295 

58 Donald Mac Coil vie Ewen there. 

59 Even Mac Iain vie Iain vie Ewen thera 

60 Donald Mac Ruarie vie Coil there. 

61 John dhu Mac Coil vie Ewen there. 

62 John Mac Iain roy there. 

63 Rorie Mac Coil vie Ewen there. 

64 Duncan Mac William vie Iain Roy in Dalcattaig. 

65 John Coul Mac Fionlay in the Inver. 

66 Donald Mac Coil vie Coul in Levishie. 

67 John Mac Ferquhar vie Quien in Blairie. 

68 Alexander Mac Conchie ban in Duldreggan. 

69 Donald Mac Gill Andrish there. 

70 John Mac Conchie vie Iain og there. 

71 John Mac Iain Gromach there. 

72 Allister Mac Coil ban in Dalchregart mor. 

73 Duncan Mac Iain mor there. 

74 Alexander Chisholm in Aonach. 

75 John Mac Coil og, vie Coil vie Iain ban in Achlean. 

76 Allan his son there. 

77 John dhu Mac Coil vie Ewen there. 

This list is rather lengthy, but it is worth giving in full, 
as without doubt comprehending every family, for it will be 
noted, that while each township is gone over, a few additional 
names are added as if of those omitted at first. Putting six to 
a family, this would bring out 500 souls, and it is known 
Glenmoriston could bring into the field 120 fighting men, some 
from Urquhart, and a few occasionally from Glengarry. 

It was not until 27th May, 1666, that matters, through the 
interposition of Sir Hugh Campbell of Calder, and the payment 
by Inshes of 9500 merks, were finally arranged, and a Dis- 
charge and Renunciation executed by Glenmoriston, which is 
also signed by Calder. 

I now revert to the further acquisitions of property and 
dignities by John Robertson of Inshes. Upon 7th July, 1615, ' 
John Robertson, eldest lawful son of William Robertson, senior, 
burgess of Inverness, is admitted a free burgess of Inverness. 
The extract, whicn has the ancient seal of the burgh, in very 
good condition so far as it exists, showing both sides, is signed 
by the Town Clerk, and bears to have been granted in presence 
of John Cuthbert of Auld Castlehill, Provost Alexander Pater- 
son, William Campbell and Duncan Forbes, Bailies. John 
Robertson acquires one of the four coble fishings on the Ness 
from Finlay Macphail. He also acquires Easter Inshes, also 

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296 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Easter Leys, or Leys Cruin, from Simon, Lord Lovat. The 
disposition, dated Dalcross- Castle, 14th May, 1629, is con- 
curred in by Lady Lovat, who could not write. 

In and about 1626, John Robertson, with Duncan Forbes, 
Provost, Alexander Baillie of Dunain, and many other pro- 
prietors, binds himself to the Earl of Moray, on behalf of the 
Clan Chattan, then undergoing violent persecution at his lord- 
ship's instance. 

Easter Inshes was acquired by John Robertson from Baillie 
of Dunain, who had held them for a short time, succeeding a 
family named Macphail. He further acquired Wester Inshes 
from the Patersons. 

There was an hereditary feud 'twixt the families of Paterson 
and Robertson, patched up for a time by the marriage of 
Alexander Paterson with Katherine, daughter of John Robert- 
son, and finally ended by the Patersons withdrawing from the 

Parts of the forest of Draikies, including Bogbain, were 
acquired from the burgh, and thus the Inshes propery stretched 
in part from the sea until it met Mackintosh at the Mount of 

John Robertson, described of Easter Inshes, merchant, 
burgess of Inverness, married Janet Sinclair — contract dated at 
Edinburgh, 22nd September, 1624 — daughter of William 
Sinclair, Indweller in Leith, then widow of Alexander Newall, 
merchant in Edinburgh, with the consent of Marion Purves, 
her mother, and Robert Baillie, merchant and burgess of 
Edinburgh, then Marion's husband. Inshes signs the contract 
thus — " Ihone Robertson Williams son of Easter Inshes with 
my hand." 

In 1628, in respect of John Robertson apologising for 
aiding the Clan Chattan, the Earl of Moray is graciously moved 
to acquit Inshes, by deed signed at the Castle of Darn away, 
3rd February, in presence of Hucheon Rose of KilravocJ: and 
John, his brother german. 

John is dead before 17th December, 1657, survived by 
Janet, his wife, and at least three sons — William, who suc- 
ceeded; Hugh, afterwards Provost of Inverness; and George, 
described as John Robertson's third son. It may be noted 
here that Inshes, having in 1647 petitioned Parliament for a 
grant of 10,000 merks in satisfaction of the losses by and 
through Glenmoriston, is voted 2000 merks. 

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Minor Highland Families. 297 

9. William Robertson, who reigned for the long period of 
at least 60 years — his father dying in 1657, ana his own name 
being found as owner in 1717. 

William Robertson passed as an advocate, and was a man 
of considerable attainments, an excellent classic scholar — some 
of his Latin effusions being extant. He first married Magdalen 
Rose of Kilravock, and some of their love letters exist, most 
creditable to both, for they would stand the rather crucial test 
of being read in a court of law. Inshes lost his wife early, 
and married secondly Sibilla Mackenzie of Pluscardine. Their 
second daughter married, in 1698, John Rose of Holme. The 
eldest daughter, Jean, married, same year, Duncan brother to 
Alexander Robertson of Strowan. Her tocher was 6000 
merks. The bride's mother, Sibilla Mackenzie, was living, and 
her nearest of kin, Provost Hugh Robertson, and Charles 
Mackenzie of Earnside. Among the witnesses to the contract 
are John Robertson of Lude and Patrick, his brother-german. 

William Robertson obtains a pew for himself in the old 
High Church of Inverness in 1676, by the following Writ: — 

"At Inverness, the 1st day of August, 1676. The said 
day there was a supplication presented by Mr William Robert- 
son of Inshes, making his humble address to the Session of 
Inverness : Regretting the inconvenience for himself and family 
in the High Church of the said Burgh for the reverent and 
incumbent attention of the ordinances : Desiring he might be 
licensed and empowered to cause build and erect two sufficient 
pews next to the Guildry's dask. Whereupon, which supplica- 
tion after rype and grave advisement, was found very reason- 
able, and knowing him to be a deserving person, the whole 
members of the Session did unanimously grant the said two 
pews, and thereby to inherit and enjoy them in all time coming 
as ane undoubted heritage. For which two pews, the said Mr 
William did give the little dask sometime belonging to his 
mother — And to be given to Hugh Robertson, Treasurer, and 
James Cuthbert, late Bailie, ordaining also these presents be 
insert and registrat in the principal Session register of the 
Burgh, therein to remain for future security and preservation 
thereof. Extracted by me. (Signed) John Innes, Clerk of 
the Session." 

The last Laird has often told me that at this time the 
Gaelic Church pulpit, originally an auctioneers rostrum, and 
made in Holland, was given by his predecessors, and stood in 
the old church after 1664, and is the " dask" before referred to. 

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298 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Inshes had busied himself in erecting the handsome place 
of sepulture of the family adjoining the church. It was feared 
that it would block a window in the aisle, and this, it will be 
observed, was guarded against in the grant : — 

" At Inverness, the [torn] 1664 years. For as muckle as 
Mr William Robertson of Inshes gave in a supplication upon 
the last day of March 1663 years, supplicating the Session of 
Inverness to build and rear up ane tombe above the corpus' of 
the deceased Marion Purves Lady Walstown, some time .»is 
grandmother, — The Session continued and delayed the same, 
fearing the building of the foresaid tombe should prejudge the 
light rights of the said church, when the same should be built, 
upon the west side of the side wall from the little door of the 
old aisle of the said church, — taking ane foot or thereby of the 
south gable gable thereof, — as the compass of ground in length 
and breadth is casten. And the Session taking the same into 
consideration, with advice and consent of my Lord Bishop of 
Moray, has given and granted, and by these presents gives and 
grants hereby to the said William Robertson of Inshes to build, 
rear, and make up the said tombe as is above designed, with 
this provision, that the same when it is built shall in no ways 
prejudge the walls or lights of the said church in the least. 
And if it be found prejudicial to the lights or walls of the said 
church, immediately against the completing thereof, then and 
in that case by the signature of the said Lord Bishop, or any 
person he shall nominate to that effect, it shall be demolished 
in so far in so far (sic) as it shall be found prejudicial to the 
lights and fabrick foresaid. And likeways the Session, with 
advice and of command of my Lord Bishop of Moray, dispones 
as much ground in length and breadth as above designed, to 
appertain in property to the said Mr William Robertson of 
Inshes and his family as their burial place in all time coming 
for ever. Whereupon act. 

" (Signed) Murdo Moravien, Eps. 

" Recorded in the Kirk Session books, 9 February 1664/' 

In 1703 (7th December), John Robertson, younger of Inshes, 
is contracted in marriage with Barbara Balfour, second 
daughter of Lieut.-Col. John Balfour of Fairnie. The contract 
is dated at the Canongate, Edinburgh, and witnessed, inter 
alias, by Arthur, by the providence of God Archbishop of St 
Andrews; Alexander, by the mercy of God Bishop of Edin- 
burgh; John, Master of Balmerino; Sir Robert Douglas of 
Kirkness; Mr Colin Mackenzie, advocate; Sir William Gordon 

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Minor Highland Families. 29£ 

of Dalpholly; Thomas Robertson, second son to Inshes; 
George Innes, younger of Coxtoun; and Mr James Elphin- 
stone, son to the Master of Balmerino. This was a high match 
for the family, but, unfortunately, the tocher was moderate, 
and the family lived up to, if. not beyond, their means. 

The following letter from Bumper/' John Forbes of Cul- 
loden, dated 1714, shows the close, kindly, and neighbourly 
footing on which the Culloden, Castlehill, and Inshes families, 
near neighbours, lived : — 

Culloden, 21st October 1714. 
" Sir, 

" Your good friend and mine, Castlehill, tells me 
that you are much my friend. I do indeed believe it, and 
though I cannot at this time or in this manner express the true 
sense I have, and always will have, for your friendship, I 
assure you, on the word of a comrade, that none longs more 
for ane opportunity to serve you or wishes better to your 
familie than, 

" Dear Sir, 
" Your most affectionate cousin 
and faithful friend, 

(Signed) "Jo. Forbes. 
(Addressed) " The Honourable 

" The Laird of Inshes." 

In 1703, Thomas Robertson, only son of John, only son of 
Provost Hugh Robertson before mentioned, married Miss 
Coutts, of Montrose; and in 1713, Captain Thomas Paterson, 
of Montrose, marries Mary, daughter of William Robertson — 
William Coutts, Provost of Montrose, being one of the wit- 
nesses. Of this family sprung the founder of the historic 
banking house of Coutts. 

A younger son of Inshes, Thomas, is described in 1723 as* 
" late General Surveyor of the Customs at Inverness." 

The following excellent letter, from old Robertson of 
Strowan to his clansman, Inshes the younger, may be inserted 
here : — 

" The letter you mentioned which you did me the honour to 
design for me, never came to my hands, else to be sure I had 
made you a return in due time. 

"I cannot think the trustees on your estate can or will 
refuse so just a demand as to count and reckon for their 
intromissions. If the matter be put into a clear light, there are 
none upon the Bench but must see it reasonable; and I am 

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300 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

persuaded that my Lord President, whom you have strove to 
oblige, will use his influence in your cause. He is a person who 
will not be biassed in a point that is palpable oppression, xnis 
is the world's opinion of him, and must not be contradicted. 
So that it seems to be your main business at present to get 
your design represented in a handsome manner to his Lordship, 
who will certainly do . you justice and also generosity. But 
things must be done with great modesty and temper. As for 
myself, I am the most oppressed man in the nation, and my 
affairs have strangely fluctuated ever since my old agent — 
worthy George Robertson — departed this life; nor do I well 
know which hand to turn me to. So does villainy prevail in 
this world. 

" But as the Lady Inshes is now at Edinburgh, she can well 
settle charges with, and know the method of bringing your 
trustees to reason. I am in a manner endeavouring the same 
against some trustees of my own name, who are attempting to 
do injustice to my father's family, against the laws of God and 
man. But I am hoping, with the assistance of Providence, at 
length to get the better of them — and their perjuries, forgeries, 
calumnies, and notorious lies, defeated. All I have done must, at 
long run, drop me into confusion. 

" Mr Ross advises me to write my advice to Provost 
Hossack, which I will do in a day or two. What influence 
that may have upon him I cannot tell, but I shall do my best. 
Being with utmost affection, Dear Sir, 

" Your most obliged cousin and servt., 

" (Signed) A. Robertson of Strowan. 

"Hermitage, July 20, 1742." . 

In 1742 old William Robertson is noted for the last time, 
.while John, his son, and William, his grandson, are both 

10. John Robertson succeeded, and, earning nothing, while 
his manner of living was much in excess of his means, brought 
his affairs and the estate to a low point. He was succeeded by 
his son, 

11. William Robertson, who, equally careless, did nothing 
to improve matters. The Duke of Cumberland and his advisers 
tried hard, here, there, and everywhere, to get up evidence 
against all landowners or men of any property who 
might have shown themselves favourable to the Stuarts, 
in order to confiscate their estates. Of the very few 

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Minor Highland Families. 301 

on whom an impression was, they imapined, made, one was 
this William Robertson, a weak man, in the fullest sense of 
the word. He was sent up to London to give evidence, but 
thought better of his position, if the whole were not a plot for 
incriminating neighbours got up by the Duke, and, on interro- 
gation in London, he took up the position of " nihil novit," 
and that the reports about his knowledge were unfounded. 
He was sent back to Inverness, as mentioned in the letter 
given : — 

" London, 10th February, 1747. 
" Sir, 

" The bearer, Mr William Robertson of Inshes, 
one of the J.P.'s for the County of Inverness, is one of those 
that was ordered up by His Royal Highness' s orders. I spoke 
of him to you formerly. Sir Everard Fawkner has remitted 
him to you, to consider what it is proper he should have for 
carrying his charges down to Inverness. You'll therefore 
please let him have what you judge proper, as he can be of no 
manner of use here. I have given orders as to the clothing of 
two men you mentioned to me. I am, with great respect, Sir, 
" Your most obedient servt., 

" (Signed) David Bruce." 

His connections were much distressed about his supposed 
disclosures, as may be seen from this letter, from a near 
relative on the mother's side, dated 22nd September, 1746 — 
a letter reflecting the high character of the writer, who pro- 
bably had no sympathy with the Jacobites : — 

" Dear WiUie, 

" By a letter I had from my sister Inshes, 
of the 13th, I was confounded to hear of your being at London, 
since she did not assign me any cause for it. 

" I supposed it had been upon a call from Lord President, 
who has always proved your true friend, and is a man of ..he 
greatest honour; but as my sister would certainly have wrote 
me if that had been the case, I am hopeful you will take no 
step there without his particular advice and direction, and then 
you are sure you will act no part but what is consistent with 
a man of honour. It gives me pain for the ' fama clamosa' of 
your journey there, though it is not possible for me to give the 
least credit to it. 

" Every good man will think himself bound by his conscience 
to serve his King and his country (even to the last drop of his 

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302 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

blood) in what is honourable. But uiere are some employ- 
ments that have ever been and will ever be of so infamous a 
nature that the accepting of them must of necessity make one 
infamous and detestable to all mankind, even to those very 
persons that make use of them to serve their ends. It is an 
employ inconsistent with honour, truth, religion, charity, or 
any one thing that is consistent with religion. It is only fit for 
the devil and his angels — it is what cuts one off. for ever with 
not only every friend and good man; but even men otherwise 
wicked won't have any intercourse with such men. God forbid 
that any friend I have the least concern in should be so 
demented. For my part, I would have more pleasure in 
seeing my relation and friend hanged, drawn, and quartered, 
rather than accept of such ane hellish employ. And therefore, 
my dear Willie, as it is impossible that you could give any 
person encouragement to believe you capable of so wicked and 
abominable a trade, which would not only bring infamy on 
yourself, but more or less on your friends and relations. 
Sure you could not be poisoned with such sentiments from any 
sprung of my father's loins. It gives all your friends here 
the utmost concern to hear such a clamour; and though we 
are persuaded you would rather part with your life than your 
honour, yet all of us expect that you will signify it under your 
hand — that to say you are capable of any such infamous trade 
is malicious and wicked; and therefore by your telling me the 
truth in plain terms, I will have it in my power to suppress 
this ' fama clamosa/ and take people to task who shall venture 
thereafter to sully your character. Write me per post directly, to 
the care of Mr John Mackenzie, W.S., Edinburgh. You can 
easily believe what concern I must have in your character, 
therefore consider the anxiety I must have till I hear from 
you. I am, dear Willie, 

" Your most affecate. uncle, 

" (Signed) John Crawfurd.. 
" Ballingry, 22 Sepr. 1746." 

12. Arthur Robertson succeeded to an estate practically in 
the hands of creditors, but, by dint of attention and abihtv, 
contrived, during his long possession, extending, like that of 
his predecessor, William, over 60 years, to keep up a good 
position, and maintain the credit of the family. In his time, 
however, all the old and considerable burghal property was 
disposed of. His brother, Captain Thomas, died in India, 
leaving some means, which had to be shared with others, 

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Minor Highland Families, 303 

including a sister, Johanna, found in 1772 as spouse of Capt. 
Zebulon Cockerell, of Sunderland. Their grandmother, the old 
Lady Irishes, Mrs. Barbara Balfour, was still alive. Being a 
freeholder, Inshes had considerable influence, and by his own 
and his successor's warm support of the Grants, after the Lovats 
had retired, earned their gratitude and substantial good-will, 
as many of their letters testify. 

In 1817 Arthur Robertson is dead, and was succeeded by 
his son, 

13. Masterton Robertson, married to Miss Shearer, which 
lady many old Invernessians will recollect, a conspicuous figure, 
in her pew in the gallery of the High Church. Masterton 
Robertson was rather unfortunate, and had to submit to be 
put under trust, during which period the family lost Easter 
Leys, acquired by Lachlan Mackintosh of Raigmore. In his 
Glasgow student days, Masterton was on very intimate terms 
with another student who afterwards became famous — Francis, 
Lord Jeffrey. 

One of Jeffrey's letters from Oxford, without date — shewing 
that thorough belief, if not conceit, of his own powers and 
judgment, afterwards so conspicuous — -may be given as an early 
specimen of the writer's decided views on whatever, subjects or 
persons he chose to discuss. The writing is so bad as make it 
almost unreadable: — 

" I received your letter last week, and from the expedition 
with whifch it appeared to have been transmitted, I am more 
puzzled to account for the delay in the postage of my first, 
which ought to have reached you almost a fortnight before you 
appear to have received it, as you will see from the date. 

" My hands are so cold I can scarcely write, you see — so 
while I am (suppling?) them at the fire, I will look over your 
letter again, that this may be, in a true and legal sense, an 
answer to it. 

" Now — ay — this is something like ; my handwriting is not 
at any time superlatively elegant, but when my fingers are 
cold you see what I make of it. 

" You ask me to drop you some English ideas. My dear 
fellow, I am as much, nay more, a Scotchman than I was while 
an inhabitant of Scotland. My opinions, ideas, prejudices, and 
systems are all Scotch — the only part of a Scothchman I mean 
to abandon is the language, and language is all I expect to 
learn in England, and indeed, except it be playing and drink- 
ing, I see nothing else that it is possible to acquire in this 

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304 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

place, both of them unfortunate accomplishments, in which I 
have neither ability nor inclinations to excel. 

" As to playing, I think I told you how much we had of 
that, and for drinking, if I could only make you walk down 
my staircase, I think you would understand what rioting in 
College means. More, Sir, you would see the fragments of 
doors which were broken to pieces last night, then you would 
see all the shattered, splintered frames of the windows, without 
one pane of glass entire, and the railing of the stair itself 
• violently torn, more than one half of it lying on the landing- 
place, a trophy of their prowess. Nor were their depredations 
confined to my neighbourhood, but extended over the whole 
College, and this is a scene which is lately acted even three or 
four times a week. 

" What hints you expect upon our learned Masters I am 
at a loss to guess, but unwilling to disappoint you, I shall give 
their general character in a few words. ±ne Fellows, in Heads 
of Colleges, are in general men of a drowsy, stupid, gluttonous, 
sottish disposition, resembling in their external appearance and 
address our old friend Bauldy Arthur. Men who had in their 
youth, by dint of regular, persevering study, painfully acquired 
a considerable knowledge of the requisite branches of science, — 
which knowledge served only to make them pedants, and to 
render still more austere and disgusting, together with that 
torpid insensibility and awkwardness which they had contracted 
in the course of their painful retirement from the world. Men 
who, accustomed themselves to pay a vile and sycophistical 
reverence to their superiors, while they had them, now insist 
upon a similar adoration and observance to themselves. 

" If you add to this a violent attachment to the game o 
whist, and to the wine called Port, you will have a pretty 
accurate conception of the venerable men to whose hands I am 
now committed, and under the influence of whose example I 
cannot fail to acquire every virtue and every accomplishment 
under Heaven. 

" But this is really very uncharitable, for there are exceptions 
to this character within this College. 

" I am quite in the horrors at the prospect of the long 
lonely winter nights I must wear out in this dull, dismal place, 
without the assistance of company, or public places, ->r family 
parties, or old acquaintances, or anything that can render cold 
and confinement tolerable. 

" I am half ashamed of the length of this letter, but I have 
so many occasions to apologize for the same fault that I have 

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Minor Highland Families. 305 

oome boldly not to consider it 1 at all, and tc be quite callous 
upon the subject; or to make no secret of whai will not be hid, 
I very seldom write shorter letters than this. 

" I hope, however, that this fair confession will not frighten 
you from my correspondence, but rather stimulate you to a 
similar conduct, and induce you to punish me only by retaliar 

" Are there any resident in Glasgow whom I know ? 
Compts. to every body, say for me all that you think I should 
have said, and believe that I am, 

" Yours sincerely, 

" (Signed) F. Jeffrey. 
" Do not address me as ' Student of Laws.' We have no 
classes here, so this appellation is improper, and God knows 
what those precise gentry may say to it. 
" Masterton Robertson, Esqre., 
" Student of Laws, 

" University of Glasgow/' 

Masterton Robertson did not survive long as owner, and 
was succeeded by his eldest son, 

14. Arthur John Robertson, so well known in and about 
Inverness. Gifted with great natural talents, he was charming 
company, -ospitable and kindly to a degree. He married 
twice; first, Miss Marianne Pattinson, of Montreal, through 
whom, in his latter years, he succeeded to valuable Canadian 
property. She left both sons and daughters, one being wife of 
Surgeon-General Mackay, who has had a distinguished career. 
He was for some time resident in Inverness, and now in Edin- 
burgh, an active Chieftain of the Clan Mackay Association, 
which, for wealth and energy, ranks amongst, if not the first of 
modern Clan Associations. Of this marriage there are several 

Inshes' eldest son, also named Arthur, died during his 
father's lifetime, leaving a son, who represents the family of 
Inshes. The late Inshes was a great improver, and spent 
beyond the returning capacity of the estate. This, and the 
amount of inherited debt, ultimately caused a sale of Inshes, 
purchased by one of the numerous family of Bairds, who bought 
land so largely in Scotland some years ago. 

By the death of my worthy and valued friend, the late 
Arthur John Robertson, terminated that close connection 
between the Robertsons and the town of Inverness, which 
lasted for over four hundred years. 


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306 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

11th MARCH, 1897. 

At the meeting this evening, Mr John Mackintosh, 57 Church 
Street, Inverness, was eleeted an ordinary member of the Society, 
Thereafter Mr A. Macbain, M.A., read a paper of critical and 
historical comments on an ancient Ossianic ballad, entitled, " The 
Ballad of the Mantle," which he supplemented by another paper 
on " Some further Gaelic Etymologies." This paper is as 
follow : — 


Since the publication of my Etymological Dictionary of the 
Gaelic Language in January, 1896, I have had the benefit of 
criticisms of that work both publicly and privately, and the result 
of these, along with what I have gleaned from my own reading 
and thinking, I here give to the Gaelic Society and the public, so 
as to form a sort of addenda and corrigenda to my dictionary. I 
have to thank the critics of that work for their almost unanimous 
'praise of it ; its reception was very flattering indeed. The criti- 
cisms of mont weight were from foreign scholars, the best in the 
way of addition and suggestion being that of Prof. Kuno Meyer 
in the Zeitschrift fur Celtische Philologie. In Scotland the 
Inverness Courier gave the weightiest judgment on the general 
philology of the work ; and other papers and periodicals as well 
added their quota of fruitful criticism. Nor did the work' fail to 
meet with critics who acted on Goldsmith's golden rule in the 
" Citizen of the World " — to ask of any comedy why it was not a 
tragedy, and of any tragedy why it was not a comedy. I was 
asked how I had not given derivative words —though for that 
matter most of the seven thousand words in the Dictionary are 
derivatives ; such a question overlooked the character of the work. 
Manifest derivatives belong to ordinary dictionaries, not to an 
etymological one. This was clearly indicated in the preface ; the 
work, too, followed the best models on the subject — Prellwitz, 
Wharton, and Skeat. Another criticisia was unscientific in the 
extreme : I was found fault with for excluding Irish words ! 
Why, it was the best service I could render to Celtic philology to 
present a pure vocabulary of the Scottish dialect of Gadelic ; the 
talk of the impossibility of " reading the marches" between Irish 
and Gaelic may be Celtic patriotism, but it is not science* As 
against this criticism, I was especially congratulated by Prof. 
Windisch for attempting to read these same marches. A funny 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. 307 

-criticism was passed on the style of printing adopted for the 
leading . words ; no capitals are used at the beginning of each 
article. The critic had not seen a dictionary before without such 
capitals, and it offended his eye to see my work so " headless" as 
it is ! Here again acquaintance with like philological works would 
have removed the " offence" and shown the utility of the style. 
In fact in Gaelic, with its accented vowels, capital initials are 
troublesome and unsightly, and the philological method is at 
once more scientific and more easy to work. 

The following vocabulary contains (1) etymologies for words 
not etymologised in my dictionary ; (2) new or corrected ety- 
mologies for words already otherwise traced ; and (3) words 
omitted. These new words have come from the public and 
private criticisms and suggestions already referred to, and from 
.another overhauling of such dictionaries as M 'Alpine and N 

Ordinary Vocabulary. 

a, who, that (rel. pron.). In G. this is merely the verbal particle 
do of past time, used also to explain the aspiration of the 
future rel. sentence, which is really paratactic, as in the past 
rel. sentence. Oblique cases are done by an, am (for san, 
sam, 0. Ir. nan, sam), the neut. of art. used as rel. (cf. Eng. 
that). The rel. locative is sometimes done by the prep, an, 
am : "An coire am bi na caoraich" (1776 Collection, p. 112). 

aba, abbot, M. Ir. apdaine, abbacy, in M. G. "abbey lands," 
whence place-names Appin, older Abbathania (1310), Abthein 
(1220), "abbey lands." 

abhall, an orchard, apple-tree, M, Ir. aball, apple-tree. See ubhal. 

•ibhaist, custom, M. tr. dbaisi (pi.). Meyer suggests from N. 
dvist, abode : unlikely. 

abhras, spinning, 0. Ir. abras, gestus, E. Ir. abras, handiwork, 
spinning, abairsech, needlewoman. 

Abraon, April : the form is due to folk-etymology, w T hich relates 
it to brdon. 

acair, anchor; from N. akkeri: acarsaid, anchorage, from N. 
akkarsaeti, "anchor-seat." From L. ancora. 

achlaid, chase, pursuit, so Ir., M. Ir. acclaid, fishing, E. Ir. 
atclaid, fishes, hunts, pursues : ad-claidim ; see claoidh. 

adhal, flesh hook, 0. Ir. del, tridens : *pavelo~, Lat. pavire ? But 
cf. Eng. awl, M. E, and Ag. S. awel, awl, flesh-hook. 

adhbhal, vast. Stokes and Osthoff give root bel, bol, strong, 
big, Skr. balam, strength, Gr. fik\npo&, better, Lat. 

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308 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

de-bilis, weak, Ch. SI. boliji, greater ; whence bailceach 

(Osthoft) and bail, buil. 
&gh, also Wh, happiness, Late M. Ir. dd, Ir. ddh, dgh. 
aibheil, huge (M k E ). See adhbhaL 
aice, a lobster's burrow, also faiche. 
aingeal, light, fire, Manx ainle, M. Ir. aingel, sparkling : *pangelos > 

Ger.funke, M. E. fnnke. 
ainis, anise, M. Ir. in amis, gloss on " anisum cyminum dulce." 
ainstil, fury, over-nizzing : an + steall. 
airchios, pity : see oircheas. 
&iridh, better airigh, hill pasture, sheiling : Norse or Danish erg 

from Gaelic equals Norse setr (Ork. Sag.). This Norse form 

proves the identity of Gaelic with E. Ir. airge. 
aisneis, rehearsing : root vet, Lat. veto (Stokes), but this does not 

account for i of 0. Ir. anndis. 
aisead, delivery ; from ad-sem-t, root sem as in taom (Stokes). 
aitlonn, jumper ; *at-tenn-, " sharp bush or tree" ; from root at, 

sharp, E. Ir. aith, sharp. For -tenn, see caorrunn. 
&lainn, beautiful. Stokes prefers referring it to dil, pleasant, 

*pagli-, Eng. fair, root pag. 
all-tapadh, mischance ; from all- and tapadk. 
alp, ingraft, also ealp. 
amal, swingle-tree : cf. N. hamla, oar-loop. 
amarlaid, blustering female ; not amarlaich. 
amart, need (Dial.), 
amhach, neck : *om-dk-d ; Lat. humerus, shoulder (*om-es-os) ; 

Gr. (5/aos; Got. amsa. 
amhain, entanglement by the neck (M'A.) ; from above. 
amhsan (ansan), Dial, osan, solan goose ; from Lat. anserl 
anabas, dregs, also green, unripe stuff cut ; from an-abaich. 
anacair, affliction : an-skocair. 

aobharrach, a young person or beast of good promise, hobble- 
dehoy ; from aobhar, material, 
aoideag, hair-lace, fillet ; from root of aodach. 
aoine, fast : Stokes suggests Gr. Trcivao), hunger, as cognate, 

making it native : *poin-io-. Unlikely, 
aoirean, ploughman, herdsman, airean (M'A.), Ir. oireamh, g. 

oireamkan, ploughman, the mythic Eremon, Airemfon), 

*arjamon-, Skr. Arjaman, further Aryan (?) ; root ar, plough. 
aoirneagan, wallowing ; see aonagail. 
aol, lime : *aidlo-, from aidh, light, fire, Gr. alOa), gleam (St.). 

See Machay. 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. , 309 

ar, seems, ar leam, methinks, Ir., M. Ir. dar, E. Ir. indar, atar, 
with la, 0. Ir. inda, ata, da ; where ta, tar is the verb tha 
(thathar), is, with prep, or rel. in before it. See na, than. 

ar-amach, rebellion ; for *eirigh-amach, " out-rising." 

arsa, quoth : Stokes refers it to the root ver, verdh, Eng. word, 
adducing E. Ir. fordat, ordat, oldat, inquiunt, for the verdh 
root. Thurneysen objects that ol or for is a preposition, the 
-dat being the verb ta ou analogy with other forms indds, 
olddte. The original is al, propter, "further" (see thall), 
like Latin turn (" turn ille" — then he), later or or for, and 
later still ar — all prepositions, denoting " further." 

astar, journey, E. Ir. astur : *ad-sod-ro-n, root sod, sed, go ; Gr. 
6S6s, way, Ch. SI. choditi, go ; Eng. ex-odus. 

athar, evil effect, consequence : *at-ro-n, from ath, " re-." 

atharnaeh, second crop, ground ready for second crop. 

atharrais, mimicking, mocking (Dial, ailis) : ath-aithris, " re- 
say," Ir. aithris, tell, imitation. See aithris. 

babhd, a surmise (M'A.), quirk. 

bad, cluster; cf. Lat. fascis (*fa&-scis). 

badhail, a churchyard (Sutherland), i.e. u enclosure," same as 

baghan, stomach, ' Dial, maghan (Sutherland) ; cf. Eng. maw, 
Ger. maqen, Nerse magi. 

bagileis, loo^e lumber or baggage (Argyle) ; from baggage. 

bail, baileach : see adhbhal. 

bairig, bestow ; from Eng. ware, as also bathar. 

baisceall, wild person : M. Ir. basgell (i. geltan), boiscell. 

balla, wall, Ir. balla, fala (Munster). 

banais, wedding, M. Ir. banais, g. baindse. 

bansgal (Dial, banasgal), a female, a hussy, Ir. bansgal, E. Ir. 
banscdl, 0. Ir. banscala, servae ; root of sgalag, as given in 
the Dictionary. 

b&rraisg, boasting, brag, b&rsaich, vain, prating ; see bctirseag. 

beadaidh, impudent, E. Ir. bet, talking, shameless girl (Conn.) : 
*beddo-, *bez-do- root bet, get, as in beul. 

bearach, dogfish, 0. Ir. berach, verutus, from bior (Meyer) ; cf. 
Eng. " picked or horned dogfish." 

beartach, rich, W. berth, rich, berthedd, riches. 

bicein, a single grain (Arg.). 

binid, also minid (Arg.) ; cf. muinne, stomach. 

biorsnaois, bowsprit of a sailing boat (N. Lochaber). 

blosg, sound a horn, W. bloedd, a shout, from *blog&o-, tor blo&go-; 
cf. meag, W. maidd. 

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310 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

b6id, vow, M. Ir. in udit ; from Lat. vdtum, as is also mdid 

bdl, bowl ; not bol. 
bdrlanachd, mdrlanachd, compulsory labour for the proprietor ; 

from Eng. bordland, as under bbrlum. Hence M'Morland. 
b6rlum, a flux ; for bbrc4um ; see bore. 
braile, braighlich, a rattling noise (Perth) ; see braodhlach. 
braodag, a huff. 
braon, rain. Stokes derives it from root ver (see feartkuinn), 

*vroen i but unlikely, 
brasailt, panegyric, E. Ir. bras-scilach, panegyrical ; from 0. Ir. 

bras, great, W. and Br. bras ; cf. Lat. grossus, Eng. gross. 
breacan, a plaid, Ir. breacdn, W. brecan, rug ; from breac. Rhys 

regards W. as borrowed from Irish. 
brim, pickle (Arg.) ; from Eng. brine. 
brod, a lid ; from Sc. brod, side form of Eng. board. 
brolamas, a mess ; same root as brollach. 
broth, lunar halo (Arg.), or brogb : cf. 0. Ir. hrutk, heat, under 

bruais, gnash : *bhraud-so-, Lat fraus, Eug. brittle. 
bungaid, a hussy (Dial.) ; from Sc. hunyy, pettish. 
btirlam, a flood, rush of water (Arg.) ; see bbrlum. 
burraidh, blockhead; from Sc. burrio (1535;, Fr. bourrieau, Lat. 

buthuinn, straw for thatch ; cf . sputhainn, straw not threshed, 

but seedless (Arg.), which seems from spoth. 
cabhladh, ship's tackle, Ir. cdbkluiglie ; cf. cabhlach, and Eng. 

cablaid, turmoil, hindrance, 
caig, conversation, claque (Arg.). 
eagar, whisper, M. Ir. ceckras, qui canet, cairche, sound ; root kar r 

of Lat. carmen, Gr. *f}pv£, herald (Stokes), 
caigeann, a winding pass through rocks and brushwood, a rough 

mountain pass (Dial. = cadha-e'iginn), anythiug ( = chileigin V). 
cairbh, carcase, also cairb (Dial.), 
oalbh, head, bald, so Irish, not calb. 
calpa, principal set to interest, Sc. calpa, death-duty payable to 

the landlord, from N. kaup, stipulation, pay. 
oana, porpoise, young whale, Ir. cana (O'R.), cdna (O'B.), whelp, 

pup, M. Ir. cana (do.) ; from Lat. canis 1 
caog, wink ; cf. Norse kaga, keek, Sc. keek. 
capraid, drunken riotousness (Dial.) ; from Lat. crdpula. 
Caradh, condition, usage ; from chirich, mend. 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. 311 

carathaist, compulsory labour, cairiste, calrbhist, which last sec 
casach, part of the tackle attached to the hook ; from cas. 
ceadan, bunch of wool, Ir. ceadach, cloth, coarse cloth, W. cadach, 

clout. Rhys regards W. as borrowed from Ir. For all, cf. 

cadadh, caiteas. 
cealair, a virago (Badeuoch). 
ceann, head : hence ceannag, a bottle of hay, ceannaich, buy 

( = " heading" or reckoning by the head ; cf. Dial, ceann, 

sum up), ceannaidh, head wind, ceannas, vaunting, 
ceannard, commander, M. kinnoort, Ir. ceannphort, commander, 

authority, head post or city : ceann +port. 
ceireanaich, fondle, make much of (Perth) ; cf. ceirein, plaster, 
cedban, drizzle, Ir. ciabhrdn, M. Ir. ciabor, mist, 
cedl, music. Stokes now suggests alliance with Ger. heulen, hoot, 

howl, 0. H. G. hiuwilon. 
cha, cha 'n, not, Ir. nocha n-, 0. Ir. ni con aspirating. The particle 

no or nu is no part of this negative : only nl and con, " non 

quod," con being the same as gu'n. Aspirating power of it is 

as yet unexplained, 
cheana, already; from cen-e, " without this," root in gun, without, 

cion, want. 
Cileag, a diminutive, weakly person, (Arg.) 
Clsean, hamper (Islay) ; from cdis. 
ciseart, a light tweed (N. Lochaber). 
cith, rage, ardour ; *ketu-, cf. cuthach : an cith, attuned, where 

cith seems from Eng. key, mood. 
clabar-nasg, the clasp of wooden cow collar (Arg.). 
clachan, kirk or kirk town, lr clochdn, monastic stone-cells 

singly or in gruup ; also G. and lr. " stepping-stones." 
cl&tar, mire (Dial.) ; from Sc. dart. 
cleuraidh, one who neglects work (Arran). 
cliob, excrescence : root qlg, stumpy, Gr. ko\o/36s. 
clis, active ; still used, so that the obsolete mark must be deleted, 
cneas, skin ; Corn, hues, body, W. cnawd, human flesh, 
coimhliong, race, also coi'lige (Dial), 
coimhirp, rivalry, striving (Arg.) ; same root as oidhirp. 
Cbineag, nest of wild bees ; from cbinneach, moss. 
CQinne, woman (Heb.) ; from N. kona, kvenna (gen. pi.), woman, 

Eng. queen. 
colag, a small steak or collop (Arg.) ; from Eng. collop. 
columan, a dove, Ir. and 0. lr. colum, W. colnmen, cwlwm y Com. 

colom, Br. coulm ; from Lat. columbus, columba. 
coma indifferent ; from root me, measure : " equal measure." 

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312 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

combaid, company (Dial.). 

comraich, sanctuary, Ir» comruiylie. 

corran, sickle. Stokes suggests from kurvo-, allied to Lat. curvus ; 

but this would give corbhan. 
creapall, a garter, creapailld (Skye). 

cre6th, wound, crednadh, being paine<l : *krevo-, as in cro, blood, 
crilein, creel, also criol (Arran, Perth) ; see croidkleag. 
c.rog, earthen vessel. Schrader derives these words from 0. Ir. 

crocenn, skin — a " skin" vessel being the original. 
crogan, a gnarled tree (Arg.) ; cf. crbcan. 
crdgan, thornbush (Arg.). 
croman, kite, hawk, from crom. 
cuanal, company, E. Tr. cuan, host, *koupn-, Lit. kupa, heap, Eng. 

heap (?) 
cuartach, a fever (Arg.) ; from ctiairt. 
cuibhreach, bond ; Stokes (rightly) now gives root as reh, bind, 

Skr. rapana, cord, rope, rapmi (do.). 
cuicheineach, coquetting, secretly hobnobbing (Arg.) : co-ceann. 
cuid, part. Some have suggested comparison with Lat. casta, rib, 

Eng. coast. 
cuircinn, women's head-dress, E. Ir. cuirce, bow, knot ; which 

makes the Sc. and Eng. comparison doubtful, 
cumhnant, covenant. Dial, plurals are cumhlaichean and cumh- 

daigeil, firm or well-built (of a man) — Arg. Cf. daingean. 
dar, when (conj.), Northern form for 'n uair ; probably d y uair = 

de&rrsadh, radiance, E. Ir. derscaigthech, splendid. 
dnasgadh, lees : *disc-atu- \ cf. Lat faex, for ftaix. Gaelic root 

diky whence diksko, then desc-. 
deise, suit of clothes, so Tr. and M. Ir. deise, a robe, 
detiach, weasand : peculiar as accented on iach, properly det-lach ; 

Dial, it-ioch, epiglottis (Arg.). 
dil, deil, keen, diligent (Arg.) ; formed from dealas, zealous, 
dileigh, digest, dileaghadh, digesting, Ir. dileagkadk, from 

di-leagk, root of leagh, melt. 
dinnsear, ginger, Ir. gingsear, M. Ir. sinnsar ; from M. Eng. 

ginger, Lat. zingiber. 
diomasach, proud : M. Ir. diumus, from di-od-mess, root mess of 

comus (Zimmer). 
dochann, hurt : M. Ir. dochond debars M. Ir. dochonach, as given 

in the Diet. 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. 313 

doicheall, churlishness, Tr. doicheall, g. doichle ; E. Ir. so-chell 

also meaning "kindness," soichlech. Root is rather that of 

timchioll. Gaul. Sucellos, a god's name, 
doimh, doimheadach, vexing, galling : *do-ment-, " ill-minded." 
d6mhail, bulky, M. Ir. derg-domla, pi., from *domail; root of 

meall : *do-fo-mell ? 
drfcbh, scatter, dissolve (M'A., Arg.), not drabh (H.S.D., which, 

however, has drabhach, rifted), 
draighlichd, a trollop, draggle-tail (Arg.) ; from Eng. draggle-tail ? 

Cf. draghlainn under draoluinn. 
drann, dranna, a word (M'A., Arg.) ; same as drannd. 
draoidh, a druid. Thurneysen means by dru, high, strong. See 

drog, a sea-swell at its impact on a rock (Arg.). 
droigbeann, thorn, also droighneach, (1) thorn, (2) lumber, 

" entanglement." 
druid, close, E. Ir. druit, close, firm, trustworthy. Stokes now 

refers *druzdi- to the same source as Eng. trust. 
dual, due, Ir. diial, just, proper, might come from *duglo-, root 

dhugh, fashion, Gr. tcvxw, Got. dugan, Eng. do. 
duan, song. Stokes derives it from dhugh above under dual. 
due, heap, ducan (Perth) : *dumhacdn, E. Ir. duma, mound, 

heap. Root of dun. 
durcaisd, turcais, pincers ; from Sc. turkas, from Fr. turquoise, 

now tricoises, " Turkish" or farrier's pincers, 
eadradh, milking time, Ir. eadarthra, noon, milking time ; from 

eadar + trath. 
ealachainn, a peg, E. Ir. alchuing, elchuing, dat. alchaing, pi. 

eallach, cattle (Arran), so Ir*. : cf. O. Ir. ellach, conjunction, *ati- 

sldgos (Zimmer). 
eanraich, soup, but, in most dialects " chicken-soup," as from 

eun -t- bruith. 
earghalt, arable land; air + geadliail, which see. 
earlachadh, preparing food (Suth.) ; from old adj. erlam, ready. 

See ullamh. 
sarraid, a tipstaff, tearraid, tarraid, from Eng. herald ? 
easga, moon : *encscaio- t Skr. pnjas, light, Gr. <t*yyos, light 

eige, a web, eididh (on analogy of 6ididh), *veggid, root ofjigh. 
eileach, mill-race, embankment ; from ail, stone : " stone- work." 
€ilitriom, bier, M. Ir. eilitrum ; from Lat. feretrum (Stokes). 

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314 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

eirbleach, slack-jointed or crippled person ; cf. Sc. hirplock, lame 

creature, hirple. The possibility of air-ablach (cf. conablack) 

should be kept in view. 
eire, burden : *pario-, root of air. Cf„ Lat. porto. 
6isd, listen, 0. Ir. etsim : an-tus-, great silence ! Cf. Ir. eist do 

bhtal — hush ! Root of tqsd. 
eisimeil, obligation, M. Ir. esimol, an esimul, *ex-em-mo-lo~, root 

em of eudail. Cf. Lat. exemplum. 
eithich, perjured ; cf. Ir. di-theck, denial on oath, for-tach, admis- 
sion on oath, di-tongar i. sentar, fortoing, proved by oath : 

*tong6, swear. See freiteach for root, 
euchd, feat, E. Ir. echt. slaughter, from ic (Stokes), 
eumhann, pearl, 0. Ir. ne'm, g. ne'mann, pearl, nlam, sheen, 

niamda, bright, W. nuryf vigour, nwyfiant, brightness, 

vigour : *n"im. Cf. neamhnuid. 
fabhairt, also ''tempering," as in Keating. G. faghairt suits 

pronunciation best (fao'irt.). 
fadadh, kiuciling : E. Ir. adsui tenid, kindles, adsuithe, kindled 

faiche, lobster's burrow ; see aice. 
faileas, shadow ; or allied to ail, mark 1 
fainear, consideration, Ir. fa dedra, remark, ft nde&r, ft ndeara 

(Munster). Foley gives tabhair fa d J aire = " observe." The 

above may be a fixed fa a" aire —fa-deara, with n from the 

plural an, their, 
fflir, dawn : *vd$ri-, Lit. vasard, summer, Skr. vdsard, early 

shining, morning (adj.), tat. ver> spring, Gr. «fa/o, spring 

fairge, ocean : W. Mdr Werydd, the Atlantic, 
fairmeil, noisy ; allied to seirm. • 

faladair, really "man who works the scythe," a turfer, from fal : 

" scythe" properly is iarunn faladair. 
fallus, sweat, 0. Ir. alias, *jasl y root jas, jes, seethe, yeast, W.jas, 

what pervades, Br. goell ( = vo-jesl), leaven ; Eng. yeast zeal ; 

Gr. few, boil, 
famhsgal, fannsgal, hurry, confusion (Arg.). 
faochainu, entreat earnestly, strive, inf. faochnadh (M'A., Arg.). 
faodhail, ford ; from N. vaiSill, a shallow, a place where straits 

can be crossed, Shet. vaadle, Eng. wade. 
faoisg, unhusk : 0. Ir. desc, concha, aesc, classendix, Lat. aesculus T 

faomadh, fainting from closeness or excitemeut, falling (Lewis) ; 

from aomadh. 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. 315 

far, far an (am), where, Ir. mar a n-, where ; from mar and rel., 
not from/o*\ 

fardal, delay, M. Tr. fordall, staying, E. Ir. fordul. 

farfonadh, warning ; see root in fathunn : *vorxvon. 

farraid, ask, faghairt (Perth), which suggests fo-gar-t, root g«r y 

fathamas, warning, also fothamas : *fo-tod-mess-, root of meas y 
tomhas, <fec. 

fathamas, occasion : *fo tad-mess-, see amas. 

fathunn, ne*vs, fabhunn (Dial.) : *vo-svo?i, root sven, sound (see 
tabhann), or root bon, ban, Eng. bail, 0. Ir. atboind, pro- 
claims ? 

feachd, time : Osthoff regards it as allied to Lat. vices ; see fiach. 

fealan, hives, M. Ir.filUn, glandular disease, fiolun saith, anthrax, 
malignant struma, all which Stokes takes from L. Lat. fello, 
strum ae. 

feannag, lazy bed ; older fennoc, trench ; from feann, flay. 

fearsaid, a spindle, not fear said. 

fearsaideag, thrift or sea gilly-flower ; from obs. fear sad, estuary, 
sand-bank, passage across at ebb-tide, whence place-name 
Fersit, and in Ireland Belfast ; for root see feart. 

ftile, charm, E. Ir. die, hele, mo fhile. Stokes regards Zimmer's 
derivation from N. a failure, and compares W. wylo, wail, 
weep, as Ir. amor, music = W. afar, grief, and G. ceo/ = Ger. 
heulen, howl. 

ffiile, kilt, E. Ir., 0. Ir fial, velum. 

feobharan, pith, puff (feo'ran)— Dial. 

fiach, debt, .value : *veico-, Lat. vices, change, Ger. wechsel, 
exchange, Skr. vishti, changing, in turn (Osthoff). This is 
the right derivation. 

fidean, a green islet or spit uncovered at high tide, web of sea- 
clam (Isles) ; from N. fit, webbed foot of waterfowl, meadow 
land on the banks of firths or rivers, fitja, to web, Eng. fit. 

filidh, poet : add Old Germanic Veleda, a prophetess (Tacitus). 

flonnsgeal, romance, Ir. finnsgeul : *ande-sqetlon-. 

fitheach, raven : this is a dissylable, *vivo-ko-, the phonetics being 
those of biadh. Stokes gives *veijako-s or *veivako-s. It is 
still distantly allied to Ger. weihe. 

fiughair, expectation, E. Ir. fiugrad, praedicere ; from Lat. figura. 
Ir. has fioghair, figure, fashion, sign. 

foichlean, sprout, faichean (Arg.). 

fonn, a tune, M. Ir. adbonn, a strain. 

fore, push, pitch with a fork ; from /ore. fork. 

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316 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

f dtus, a flaw ; from Sc. jaut, as in fabhd. 

frabhas, refuse, small potatoes (Arg.). 

fraochan, toe-bit of shoe ; "heather-protector," from fraoch ? 

freothainn, bent-grass (Arg.). 

frioghan, pig's bristle, M. Ir. frighan i. guairech muc. 

frith, frioth, small, which M'A. says antecedes the noun, is the 

prep, frith or ri. 
fuidheall, remainder, 0. Ir. fuidell, W. gweddill, *vodilo-, dil, 

allied to Eng. deal, dole, Ger. teil (St. with query), 
fuilear, cha 'n fhuilear, must ; for furail, 0. Ir. fordil, excessive 

injunction, infliction, same root as earail. 
fulbh, gloom (Arg.) ; see suilbh. 
futhar, the dog-days ; from Sc. fure-da.y&. 
g&bairt, a transport vessel (Heb.) ; from Sc. gabert, a lighter, 

from Fr. gabarre, storeship, lighter. 
gabhann, gossip (Perth). 
g&irdeachas, rejoicing. K. Meyer regards this as from older 

*gartiugud i shortening or whiling time, from goirid, E, Ir. 

urgartiugud, while time, amuse; with a leaning on gair, 

laugh. Cf. W. difyru, amuse, divert, from byr, short, 
giirdean, arm ; from Sc. gardy, arm, gardis, yards, same as yard. 
galad, good girl, brave girl, fern, for laochan, used in encouraging 

address : a ghalad. Root is gal (*galnat), brave. 
gaorr, faeces : in Arg. pronounced with Northern ao sound ; in 

North, pronounced with ao broad as in Arg. 
gisaid, fray (Dial.). 
geadhail, a ploughed field, park (Arg., M'A.); hence earghalt, 

arable land : same root as gead, viz. ged, hold, Eng. get. 
geamhda, thick, short block ; cf. Ir. giobhta, giota, a piece. 
gearraidh, the pasture-land between the shore-land and the moor- 
land (Heb.) ; from N. gerfti, fenced field, garth, 
geinn, wedge, N. gand, gann, a peg, stick, Lat. offendo, *fendo, 

Eng. offend (Stokes and Liden). 
glaiseach, foam (M'A.), glais-sheile, water-brash, from obs. glais, 

stream, E. Ir. glaiss, same root as glas. 
gldic, having hanging cheeks, as in hens. 

gldir, speech, Ir. gldr, E. Ir. glorach, noisy ; same as glbir, glory, 
gnjomh, deed : the root is gn£, do, from gen, beget, as in gin. 

Hence ddan, ni, rinn. 
gog, tossing of the head, godadh (Arg.). 
gonan, grass roots ; cf. cona. 
greod, a crowd (Arg.) ; from Eng. crowd. 
greusaich, shoemaker, Ir. grda&aidhe. 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. 317 

gudaleum, a bound, wild leap (Arg.). • 

guraiceach, unfeathered bird, lump (Arg.), from gur. 

gurracag, a blot (Arg.). 

gurrach, " hunkering ;" cf. Sc. ciirr, to " hunker," currie, a stool, 
Eng. cower. It also means a "fledgling" (Arg.). The Perth- 
shire curraidh, hunkering, is from Scotch. 

iallach, jaunty, lithe ; cf. uallach. 

impis, imis, imminence, an impis, about to, almost, M. Ir. imese 
catha, imminence of battle, root ved of tbiseach (Stokes). 

inne, gutter, sewer, kennel (M'A.). 

iob, raw cake ; also uibe, which see. 

ioba, pi. iobannan, tricks,* incantations (Arg.) ; see ubag. 

iochd, clemency, M. Ir. icht, protection : *peklus, root peJc, pah, 
Lat. pectus, breast, paciscor, paction ; allied to uchd. 

iolla, view, glance ; gabh iolla ris, just look at it ; cf. ealla. 

ioraltan, harmless tricks : *air + alt. 

iorbhail, infection, taint * air + bail, "on-issue." 

isneach, rifle : Meyer suggests from isean, young of birds, com- 
paring "fowling-piece" 

iuchair, key : root stem pecu-, fastening, whence Lat. pecu, cattle, 
Eng. fee. 

ladhar, hoof : *plaftro-n, root pla, extend. 

l&irig, a pass, 0. Ir. loarcc, furca. Often in place-names. 

laimhrig, lamraig, landing place ; from N. hlaft-hamarr, pier or 
loading rock, Shet. Laamar. 

langaiseachadh, pulling a boat along by a rope from the bank. 

lann, also "a scale, scale of a fish, disc" (Arg., M'A.). 

laoir, drub lustily (M'A.), laoireadh, rolling in the dust (H.S.D.) 
Cf. leir. 

leis, thigh, 0. Ir. less : *lexa, root leh ; Eng. leg, Gr. Aa£, kicking 

leagarra, self-satisfied, smug (Arg.). 

ledb, a shred ; cf. Norse leppr, a rag (Craigie). 

leom, conceit, ledmais, dilly-dallying ; cf. Ir. leoghaim, I flatter^ 
leom, prudery. 

ledmann, moth, Ir. leomhan, Mamhann, E. Ir. legam. 

ledmhann, lion, Ir. leomhan, 0. Ir. leornan ; from Lat. leo, leonem. 

ledn, wound, Ir. lednaim, E. Ir. Unaim, wound, Un, hurt ; this. 
Strachan refers to *lakno-, root lak, tear, as in Lat. lacero, 
lacerate, Gr. Aa/as, a rent. But cf. leadradh, E. Ir. leod, 
cutting, killing, *ledu, root led, ledh, fell, Lat. labi, Eng. 

lian, cia lian, how many ; same as linn, 0. Ir. Un. 

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318 Gaelic Society of I /wetness. 

liatrus, blue-mould, liathlas : Hath + ? 

liod, lid, a syllable, lisp, lideach, liotach,- lisping, Ir. liotadh, a 

lisp (Fol.); cf. Gr. Amy, prayer, Lat. lito, placate, 
liiith, a lythe ; from the Sc. 
loban, 16}>an, peat creel ; from N. laupr, basket, timber frame of 

a building, Shet. loopie, Ag. S. leap. 
logais, unwieldy person, loose slipper or old shoe (Arg.) : cf. Sc. 

loinil, comeliness, M. Ir. lainn, bright ; from plend, Lat. splendeo, 

Eng. splendid. Hence loinnear, bright. So Stokes. 
longadh, a diet, so Ir., E. Ir. longad, eating ; a side form of slug, 

which see for root, 
lougphort, harbour, camp, palace, Ir. longphort (do.) ; from long + 

port. Hence luchairt, palace ; longart, lunkart in place- 
loth, marsh (Sutherland), 0. Ir. loth, mud ; sea further under Ion. 
luchairt, palace ; see longphort above, 
lugh, a joint (M'A.), luighean, a tendon, ankle, Ir. ItUhach, joints, 

luigMan. a nave, M. Ir. Hithech, sinew, 
luir, torture, drub (M'A.) ; see laoir. 
lum, part of the oar between the handle and blade ; from N. 

hlumr, handle of an oar. 
luma-l&n, choke-full, also loxn-l&n; from lorn + Ian. 
machlag, matrix, M. Ir. macloc. 
mag, a paw, E. Ir. mdc, : *mankd, root man, hand, Lat manus, 

Gr. fioLpyj, Norse mund, hand. Sc. maig is from Gaelic, 
maith, forgive, W. maddeu. Rhys regards the W. as borrowed 

from Ir. ; if so, G. is same as maith, good. 
mfcn, a mole on the skin, arm-pit ulcer ; side form of mam. 
m&rach, a big, ungainly woman (Arg.) ; from mdr, with neuter 

termination ach. 
mirrach, enchanted castle which kept one spell-bound, labyrinth, 

thicket to catch cattle (M'A.). Root mar, mer, deceive, as in 

mear, broth. 
meall, lump, Br. mell, joirt, knot, knuckle : *mlso- ; cf. Gr. /xeAos, 

limb, part, 
meidh, balance, W. midd, centre of motion. Hence meidhis, a 

measure ; instalment (Arg., M'A.). 
meilcheart, chilblain (Arg.) ; root in meilich. 
m&n, disposition, Ir., M. Ir. mein, mind : Eng. mean, Ger. meinen. 

meuchd, mixture (Dial.) : *meik-tu, root meik, mik, as in measg. 
miadh, respect ; allied to Eng. meed, Gr. fiurdos, pay, Lat. miles, 

soldier, Cf. Gr. rip;, fame, price. 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. 319 

minis, degree, portion (M'A.), root of union. 

miobhadh, ill-usage, as by weather ; from mi-bhctidk. 

muinne, stomach (Arg.). Cf. mionach. 

muinnteachd, disposition (Dial.) ; for root see muinighin, and cf. 

0. Ir. muiniur, 1 think, 
mule, a shapeless lump, a lump, 
murrach, rich, able, Ir. murrtha, M. Ir. muire, muiredach, lord, 

Murdoch ; Ag. S. maere, clarus, Norse maerr, famous (Stokes), 

same root as mdr. 
mtisuinn, confusion, Ir. miiisiun codlata, hazy state preceding 

sleep. From Eng. motion ? 
na, that which; for an a, 0. Ir. rel. an (really neut. of art.) and 

G. rel. a, which see. Descent from ni or ni, without any 

relative, is favoured by Book of Deer, as do ni thissad, of 

what would come. Possibly from both sources, 
neasg, boil ; Slokes regards E. Ir. ness, wound, as from *nekso-, 

root neg. 
netinagan, a stye in the eye (Arg.) ; cf. leamhnad. 
Oil, offence, Ir. is oth Horn, I regret ; really oik before prep. 

pronouns with le : oth a short form of uath. 
oisinn, corner, Ir. isinn, the temple, fdn na hotsean, along the 

temple, E. Ir. na-li-usine, the temples, 
osag, a breeze : *utsd, root ut 9 vet, ve, blow, as in onfhadh. 
6trach, dunghill ; add Ir. othrach, dung, *putr-. 
padhadh, thirst, M. Ir. paadh is explained by Stokes as *spa8dtu-, 

root spas or spes, Lat. tpiro, breathe, W. fiun, breath, from 

*sposnd. For phonetics see piuthar. 
padhal, ewer ; from Eng. pail ; cf. adkal, paidhir, staighir, 

faidhw, ratkad. 
piocach, coal-fish, saith (Arg., M*A.) ; cf. Eng. pike. 
plam, anything curdled ; Arg. has bainne plumaichte, curdled or 

soured milk, 
pleigh, fight, Ir. pUidh, debate ; all from M. Eng. pleie } game, 

plionas, a hypocritical smile (Arg.). 
ponach, lad, in Arg. boinnean, from boinne. 
prac, a tithe, pracadair, tithe collector ; from Sc. proeutor, Eng. 

proctor, procurator. 
prat, a trick, pratail, pranky ; see protaig. 
proitseach, boy ; cf. brod balaich, brodan, boy, from brod. The 

termination is -seach, really a fern. oue. In Arg. propanach, 

a boy, from prop, also geamht. 
punntainn, benumbment; cf. Eng. swoon. 

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320 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

rag, stiff : *razgo-, root reg, rag, Lat. rigeo, rigid, Eng. rack. N. 

ra&/<r, straight, Lit, rra/w, knit. 
r&ith, a threatening. 

ramair, a blockhead, a romp ; cf. ramalair. 
raoic, roar, M'A. raibheic, pronounced raoi'c : *ro J rheuc. 
raoir, last night : *prei-ri, root as in riamh (Asc, St.). This is 

the right derivation. 
rfcsdail, sound of frying meat ; cf. rdsd. 
rathad, road : from M. Eng. roade, road, Ag. S. rdd. 
r6, moon *revi, Skr. ravi, sun. 
reachd, a loud sob, keen sorrow, Tr. rachd (also G. rachd), E. Ir. 

recht; cf. Eng. reck. 
reusbaid, a beggar's brat (Arran), a rascal. 
riabhag, a lark, "grey one," from riabhach. 
righ, stretch (on a dead bed), Ir. righim, stretch, reach, E. Ir. 

rigim, Lat. rego, etc., as under righinn. 
roid, bog myrtle, Ir. rideog, M. Ir. raidleog, darnel : *raddi-. Cf. 

r6mhau, wild talk, raving, rigmarole (Dial.) ; from Eng. row ? 
ros, seed, Got. frasts, for fra-sst -s, from pro-sto- (Stokes), 
rud, thing, Dial, raod (Arg., Arran), rudach, hospitable, 
rusal, ru«ladh, turn over things, risleadh, rustle, move things 

about (Perth) ; from Eng. rustle, 
sac, a load, burden, Ir. sacadk, pressing into a sack or bag, Low 

Lat. saccare (do.) ; from Fr. sac, pillage, the same as Eng. 

sack, plunder, all borrowed from saccm, a sack or bag. 
saidh, 8aidhean, the fish saith ; from N. sei&r, the gadus virens, 

now sei. 
sath, saith, bad (Dial, maith na saith, math na sath), M. Ir. sath 

(Lecan Glossary), saith, 0. Ir. saich (cid saich no maith) : 

*8aki-s, root svak, svag, weak, Ger. schwach. 
sealbhan, the throat, throttle : *svel-vo-, Eng. swallow (*svel-ko-) ? 
seaman, rivetted mail, W. and M. W. hemin, rivet. 
seamarlan, chamberlain, M. Ir. seomuirlin ; from the Eng. 
seileann, sheep-louse, tick. 
seillean, a bee, teillean (Perth), tilleag (Suth.), W. chwil, 

beetle ; root svel, turn, as in seal ? 
seirean, a shank, leg, spindle-shanked person ; for connections see 

aged, g. sgiach, haze, dimness (Heb.) ; see ced. 
Sgilbheag, a chip of slate (Arg.) ; from Sc. skelve, a thin slice, 

Eng. shelf. 
Sgilig, shelled grain (Dial.), from Norse, whence Sc. shillin, which 

see under sgiL 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. 321 

Sgimilear, intruder ; from Sc. skemmel. Cf. sgiomalair. 

Sgionabhagan, " smithereens" (Arg.). 

Sgliobhag, a slap (Dial.) ; cf. Sc. sclaff, sclaffert. 

8gr&l, a host, a large number of minute things (Heb.) ; cf. 

sgreunach, boisterous (of weather) — Arg. 
Sgriach, a score, scratch (Dial.) ; cf. strioch. 
Sgr6bail, a bird's crop, Ir. scrobdn ; cf. Eng. crop, Ger. kropf. 
sguainseach, hussy, hoyden (Arg.) ; possibly from Sc. quean : 

*s-quean-seach ; cf. siursach. 
siab, sweep, lr. siobadh, blowing into drifts. Root sveib, Eng. 

siaban, sea-spray, sand-drift ; from above. 

sianan, breac-shianain, freckles ; from sian, foxglove (Dr Gillies), 
siaranachadh, languishing, siarachd, melancholy (Dial.) ; from 

siar, " going backwards V 
Sid, weather, also tid, which suggests borrowing from N. ti&, tide, 

time, Eng. tide.. 
sioll, a turn, Ir. siolla, a whiff, glint, syllable ; root of seal. 
sionn, phosphorescent, solus sionn, phosphorus, also teine-sionn- 

achain. For roct see next, 
sionnach, valve of bellows, pipe-reed, piob-shionnaich, Irish bag- 
pipe. From root spend, swing, play, Skr. spand, move 

quickly, Gr. o-favSovr), sling, Lat. pendeo, hang, Eng. 

si op, despise, turn tail on (Dial.) ; see seap. 
siota, a blackguard, a pet ; from Sc. shit. 
sithionn, venison ; add M. Ir. sideng, deer, 
slabhcar, not slaucar, as in Diet., slouching fellow, from Norse. 
sl6isneadh, backsliding (Heb.) : * shifts-, root of slaod and Eng. 

slide ? 
smal, blemish : add Eng. mole. 
smeorach, thrush, Ir. bmaolach. Stokes derives W. uiwyalch, 

blackbird, from *meisalko-, Ger. meise, Eng. tit-mouse. 
ameuraich, grope ; from meur. 
smuilc, glumness, dejection ; M. Ir. smuilcin, a small snout : 

" snoutyness." 
snichdean, a stitch of clothing (Arg.). 
socair, ease ; opposite is deacair, 0. Ir. deccair : *di-acair, *so- 

acair, from *acar, convenience, root cor, place, as in cuir. 

Hence acarach. 
sodal, pride, according to Stokes *sput-tlo-, W. ffothyll, pustula 

Lat. pustula, Skr. phutkar, puff (Stokes). 


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322 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

soighneas, pleasure, Ir. soighneas : so-gne- t root gen. 

soimeach, easy circumstanced, seems to combine 0. Ir. somme, 

dives, and 0. Ir. soinmech, lucky, good, Ir. soinmheach, 

fortunate, happy. The former Stokes derives from so4mbi-s, 

for which see iomadh ; the later is so-nem-ech, root nem, under 

neamh. M. Tr. somenmnach, good-spirited, is from meamna. 
soirbh, gentle, soirbheas, success, wind, flatulence (so in Arg.). 
Somalia, bulky, placid ; from M. Ir. soma, abundance, with adj. 

terminations -ail and ta. See soimeach further. 
SOna, happy: *so-gnd-vo-s, "well-doing;" root gna of gniomh. 
sorchan, foot-stool, support, light-stand, peer man ; from sorcha. 
speach, wasp, counspeach, " dog-wasp,' is referred by Stokes 

(Diet. 302) to *spe/cd, Gr. <r<j>y^ ; for phonetics cf. padhadh, 

piuthar, also speir and speal. 
speach, stitch in side, blow, Ir. speach, a kick. 
Speal, scythe, Ir. speal, M. Ir. spel : *speld, Gr. xf/akls, shears, root 

spal, clip, pull, further Eug. psalm (so Stokes). 
speil, herd, Ir. tpeil : *speli-, allied to Lat. spolium (Stokes). 
spoil, a quarter, spold, joint of meat ; from Sc. ?paul, limb, 

spald, shoulder, from old Fr. espaule, espalle, L. Lat. spatula, 

shoulder, whence Eng. epaulet Ir. spolla is also hence. 
sreamadh, curbing or checking by the nose. 
stabhaic, wry neck, pronounced in Arg. staofc, staghaic. 
st&irn, a particle, small quantity (Perth) ; from Sc. starn, particle, 

grain, star, from stfxr. 
stalladh, dashing against, thumping (M'A.), stallachdach, 

stupidly deaf, careless (Arg.). 
stamhnaich, reduce to order, subject, break in, drub (M'A.), 

Stannadh, subject (Reb.); from N. stafr, a stick, stafa fyrir, 

rule, fyrir stafni, aim at, stafn, stem 1 
stangarra, the fish stickleback ; from stang, sting. 
St6idh (not st6igh), foundation ; froui Norse staebi, staefra, estab- 
lish, Ork. steeth, foundation, steethe, to found, 
stidean, stididh, a cat, also tididh, from Sc. cheet, cheety, puss, 

cat, Eng. chit, cub, youngster ; from cat, like kitten. 
stiorc, stretch (at death, Arg.) ; from Eog. stark 1 
stoth, hot stream, vapour ; see toth. 
sttiC, jutting hill ; from Teutonic — N. stuka, wing of a building, 

Eng. stook, etc. 
stuthaig, starch ; fiom Sc. stiffing, starch, Eng. stiff. Perthshire 

Subh, subh, raspberry, subh, fruit generally (Arg.). Root sug 

as in sugh. 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. 323 

suilbh, cheer, hospitality, geniality : *su-lubi-, root lubh, please, 

love, Lat. libet, Eug. love. It influences the meaning of 

suilbhir, originally Xl eloquent." 
tabaid, fight, brawl ; see sabaid. Cf. Sc. debate. 
tai^hlich, chattels (Heb.) ; a side form of teaghlach. . 
■tiilla, apprentice fee-, premium (M'A., who has tiilleabh) ; see 

t&ilb, tilll3a)]i (M'A..), canse^u3iic3, air tillle, on account of; 

cf. M Ir. a hiithle, after, as a haitkle sin, thereafter, G. 

as d dihle, thereafter (B. of Deer), aithle, remnant, 
fcais^eal, journey : *to-asdel, *ad-sod-, root sod, as in astar. 
tairleas, turlas, cupboard or aumrie (Perth), 
t&naiste, tanist ; rather root at of ath-, " re." 
taom, empty ; root sern, from se, Lit. semiu, draw (as water), Lat. 

simpulum, ladle (Stokes). 
tathaich, visit ; Stokes prefers root at, go, discussed under 

t&, t&a, insipid, slightly fermented ; from root of teas ; cf. Upid. 
t&achd, silly boasting (Arg.). 
teamhall, slight swoon or stun, Ir. teimheal, darkness, 0. Ir. 

temel (do.), Skr'. tdmas, Lit. tamsa, Lat. tenebrae, temere, 

teanacadh, deliverance, succour, teanacas, healing : Hind-ioc, from 

toe, heal, 
thall, over, Ir., 0. Ir., thall, tall : *t-all, 0. Ir. ol, quam, iudoll, 

altarach, ultra, al, ultra; root ol, el, ol, Lat. Me { — oile), 

alius. Also eile, other, which see. 
theagamh, mayhap ; Meyer takes 0. Ir. ecmaing from ad-com- 

bangim, bang root of buain. It has also been referred to root 

mang, mag, Eng. may, etc. 
tioba, a heap (Arg.) ; from Eng. lieap or G. iob ? 
tionnail, likeness ; *t-ionnail, from tonnan, like. 
tiorail, cosy ; add W. tirion, pleasant, a familiar cbject. 
tiot, moment.; cf. Ir. giota, something small, jot, appendage, from 

Lat. iota, whence Eng. jot. Gaelic is t-iot. 
tligheachd, liquid, spume (Heb.) : t-lighe? 
t6bairt, flux, diarrhoea spasms : to-food-ber-t, root ber of heir 
tdch, bad smell ; add t6char or tachar, dense volume of smoke 

(Arg.) ; root stou, as in toth, 
toigh, agreeable ; Stokes derives this from *togi-s, root tag, take, 

Lat. tango, etc. 
toill, deserve, Ir., 0. Ir. tuillim, atroilli, asroilL, meruit, later 

do-sli, meruit, from sli (Thur., Strachan), 

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324 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

tomult, bulk ; see somalta. 

tosg, peat-cutter ; cf. Shet. tushker, from N. torfsheri, turf-cutter i 

treachladh (1) digging, for which see treachail; (2), fatiguing, for 

which cf. Sc. trachle. 
trealais, the spleen (M'F.). 
treall, treallan, a short space or time, Ir. treall, M. Ir. trell, root 

ter, through, Eng. thrill, pierce. 
treisg, treisginn, weaver's paste, trash (M'A., Arg.) ; cf. Sc. 

trid, rag, clout, stitch, 
trusdar, filthy fellow ; cf. Ir., E. Ir. trist, curse, profligacy, L. Lat. 

tristus, improbus. 
tuairmeis, hit on, discover : *do-fo-air-mess ; see eirmis. 
tuaitheal, wrong, Ir. tuaithbhil, E. Ir. tuatkbil ; tuath and sel, as 

tualaig, loose, have flux, tuanlaig (n elided) in Perthshire. From 

tuba is t, mischance, Ir. tubaiste, Aran tiompaiste. 
tunnachadh, beating, dashing; see tuimhseadh. 
turag, a trifling illness (as of a child) — Arg. 
turcais, pincers ; see durcaisd. 
uabairt, expulsion ; not uad-bert. there being no uad really ; from 

*od-bert, prefixed by ua ? 
uaigh, grave, E. Ir. uag, *augd, allied to Got. augc, eye, Eng. eye. 

See for force dearc. So Stokes, and rightly, 
uamhag, sheep-louse, 
ubairt, rummaging among heavy articles, bustle (Dial.) ; see 

uchd, breast. St. now gives poktus, allied to pectus. See iochd. 
umlagh, a fine (Arg.) ; from Sc. unlaw, unlach, a fine, trans- 
gression, from un-law. 
unradh, adversity (Campbell's Tales, II. Mac-a rusgaich) ; a form 

of an-rath ? 
urcag, thole pin (N. Lochaber). Cf . arcan, a cork. • 
urlaigh, turn (disgustfully) — Arg. 
utag, strife, titag (Arg.). 
tltag, a knuckle ; better utan. 

Personal Names. 

Allan, G. Ailean, E. Ir. AiUne, Adamnan's Ailenus, from al t 
rock 1 The Norman Alan, whence Scotch Allan mostly, is 
0. Br. Alan, Alamnus, Nennius Alanus, from Alemannus, the 
(German tribe name — "All Men." Cf Norman, Frank, 
Dugall, Fingall. 

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Gaelic Words and Etymologies. 325 

Charles, G. Te&rlach, M. Ir. Toirrdhealbhach (Maclean Gene- 
alogy), Englished as Tirlagh and Turlough, E. Ir. Toirdelbach, 
Latinised and explained as Turri-formis, " Tower-shaped," 
but the toir in Gaelic took the phonetics of the prefix tair, 
super, and hence the modern G. form. 

Colin, G. Cailean Cf. Goiledn, " whelp," and personal name ; 
the G. is a dialectic form of old coiledn, cuilean, whelp. 

Finlay, G Fionnlagh ; this is " Fair hero" — Fionn-laoch. It 
is a popular (I Oth and 11th century) rendering of Finning, 
" Fair attractive one," the older name. 

John, G. Iain, older Eoin, in compounds Seathain, as Mac-Gille- 
SheatJiainn, now M'llleathailin. 

Kennedy, G. Ceanaideach, Ceanadaidh, E. Ir. Gennetich, 
means "Ugly head," from ceann and titigh. Called also 
M'Ualraig from Walrick Kennedy (16th century), who first 
settled in Lochaber : Walrick may be G. UalghaPJJ confused 
with Teutonic Ulrick, older U^dalrich, "rich patrimonially." 

Lamond, : hence APClymont, D. of L. V'Glymont, Glyne lymyn. 

Menzies ; local G. is MMnn, Meinnearach. 

Murdoch ; for Mwredach ; see murrach above. 

Macbeth, Northern G. M'Bheathaig. From Macbeth come 
M'Bey, M'Vey, M'Veagh. 

Mac-echern : also Englished as M'Kechnie (*Mac-Echthtgerna). 

Mackellar, G. M*Ealair: Filar M'Kellar, 1595, which proves 
the name to be Ealair. • M. Ir. Flair, the Gaelic form of 
Lat. Hilarius borrowed. 

Mac-kessack, also Mackieson, M'Kesek, 1475; Kessokissone, 
Kessoksone, 1488; Makesone, 1507; Makysonn, 1400 (mostly 
in Menteith and S. Perth), from Kessoc, Kessan, personal 
names circ. 1500, also St. Kessog or Kessoch. 

Mackirdy, G. M*UPardaigh, M'Urarthie, 1632 ; M'Quiritei* 
1626; Makmurrarty, 1547; Makwerarty, 1517; common in 
Bute and Arran of old, from Muircheartach, " sea-director" 
(muir and ceart) ; whence also M'Murtrie, JPMutrie. 

Maonee : D. of L. M'onee, M'Nie, 1613 ; M'Knie, 1594 ; M'Kne, 
1 480 (Menteith and Breadalbaue). From mac-nia, champion ? 

Macqueen : in Arg. M'CuTne, for M'Shuibhne, which is the 
best spelling for Argyle. 

Roderick, G. Ruairidh ; the terminal -ri, -reck (old gen.) is a 
reduced form of righ, king (Zimmer, who, however, regards 
Ruadri as from N. Hrdrekr, but this in Galloway actually 
gives Rerik, M'Rerik, M l Grerik, 1490, 1579, thus disproving 
Zimmer's view). M'Gririck still exists. 

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326 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ross, G. Rosaeh, ROS ; from the County name Ross, so named 
from ros, promontory. 

Shaw : G. Seadhgh now, evidently formerly Si'ach or St'ack, 
Schiach APKeich, Weem in 1637 ( = Sha\v M'Shaw), Jn. 
Scheach, Inverness in 1451, Jo. and Tko. Scheoch, king's 
"cursors" 1455-1462, Sythaeh Macmallon iu Badenooh in 
1224-33, Ferchar films Seth there iu 1234, M'Sithig in B. of 
Deer : *Sithech, M. Ir. sidhach, wolf. The female name 
Sitheag was common in the Highlands in the 17th century 
Shiak, thihag). The Southern Shaws — of Ayrshire and 
Greenock — are from De Schaw (1296), from Sc. and Eng. 
shaiv, shaws ; the southern name influenced the northern in 
spelling and pronunciation. 

OigfhFlg', EighPig, Euphemia, M. G. Epic (D. of L.), med. 
documents Africa, Ir. Aithbhric, older Affraic (two abbesses 
of Kildare so called in 738 and 833) ; from Africa ? 

Raonaild, Raonaid, Rachel ; from Norse Ragnhildr, " God's 
fight." Cf. Ronald. 

18th MARCH, 1697. 

At the meeting this date, Mr W. J. Watson, rector, Royal 
Academy, Inverness, and Mr Murdo Macdonald, M.A., School- 
house, Aldourie, were elected ordinary members of the Society. 
Thereafter Mr Charles Fergusson, Fairburn, read his sixth 
contribution to the Society, on " The Early History, Legends, 
and Traditions of Strathardle." The paper was as follows : — 


1624. — So very disturbed and unsettled had the Highlands 
of Perthshire become at this time, that the Government saw 
that something must be done to put a stop to the continual 
raids and feuds of the clans, so we find that, on January 22 of 
this year, the Privy Council issued summons to the landlords 
of the Highlands to attend a consultation as to the best means 
to suppress crime. So the Privy Council and these Highland 
landlords met in Edinburgh, and, after due consideration, 
decided as follows : — " Sederunt of Council and Highland 
Landlords: — Decided — First: That choise be maid of twa 
Captanes, who salbe callit his Majesties Captanes; the one for 

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Early History of Strathatdle. 327 

the Stewartry of Strathern, Menteith, and Lennox: and the 
other for the boundis of the Earldom of Atholl, the Bishoprick 
of Dtmkeld, Glenshie, Stratharle, Strathtay, Strathbrane, 
Breadalbane, and the Braes of Angus : and that ather Captane 
half xx. men under his charge and command; authorised with 
ample power and commission to hunt, follow, and pursue with 
fyre and swerd all broken lymmeris, theives, sornairs, and 
masterful oppressours within the said boundis, and yf they fall 
oute of these boundis to follow them to suche outher partis as 
they sail flee unto. . : . And every Captane, with his 
companie, within the boundis allowit unto thame salbe in 
continuall action in watching of the country and pursuite of 
lymmers." — Privy Council Records, Vol. xii., p. 464. 

Each company was to consist of a captain and twenty men, 
and the pay was to be forty shillings Scots for a captain, and 
thirteen shillings and four pence Scots for each man, per day. 
The captains appointed were: — For No. 1 Company, Strathern 
and Menteith— -John Stewart, the steward-depute of Menteith; 
and for No. 2 Company, Athole — Robert Stewart, younger of 
Ballechin. This was the beginning of that policy of raising 
private companies of the natives, to keep the peace along the 
Highland border, which ended a hundred years afterwards in 
the raising of the famous Black Watch in the same district. 
In the present case, the two companies of twenty men were far 
too weak to do any good, when scattered over such a wide 
district, even though they were " kept in continuall action in 
watching and pursuite of lymmers." 

1626. — When our old friend, the Baron Cufcach of Straloch, 
died, he was succeeded, by his son, Alexander, who, in 1617, 
had married Marjory Graham, daughter of M'Combie of Clay- 
pots; and I now, in this year, find William, Earl of Tully- 
bardine, who had succeeded the Earl of Atholl, granting Baron 
Alexander a charter of the lands of Straloch and Inverchroskie. 

As we have already seen, the Baron Cutach was, like King 
David of old, " a man of war from his youth ; " but, as is often 
the case, even in the most warlike families, his son, Alexander, 
was a man of peace, who, instead of going to Kirkmichael Kirk 
on Sunday with a strong armed guard, and his piper playing 
before him, followed the Scriptural advice of beating his clay- 
more into a ploughshare ; and so we find him the great pioneer 
of agriculture on the Braes of Ardle, 

Before this time, most of the level lands of Strathardle, 
along both sides of the river, were covered with a dense jungle 
of underwood, alder, hazel, thorn, and brier, whilst most of the 

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cultivated land lay high up on the braes, by Glenfernate, 
Dirnanean, Ardchroskie, Minnoch, Whitefield, Ashintully, and 
the Braes of Dounie. As no underwood grew naturally at 
that elevation, only grass and heather, it was easier of course, 
in the earlier stages of agriculture, to reclaim that land, so that; 
high ground was taken in at an early date, and the previous 
warlike barons were quite content with tneir small patches of 
- land wherever it cost least labour to reclaim. 

It was not on agriculture they depended — no ! nor 
even on their abundant flocks and herds — to support their 
numerous retainers; theirs were the thoughts and feelings of 
Roderick Dhu : — 

" Ask we those savage hills we tread, 
For fattened steer, or household bread, 
Ask we for flocks these shingles dry, 
And well the mountain might reply — 

' To you, as to your sires of yore, 
Belong the target and claymore ! 
I give you shelter in my breast, 
Your own good blades must win the rest.' — 
Pent in this fortress of the North, 
Think'st thou we will not sally forth, 
To spoil the spoiler as we may, 
And from the robber rend the prey ?" 

These were the good old days, " when might was right," and 
u when each man followed the fashion of his clan ; " and so 
these old warlike barons had gone on, spoiling the spoiler and 
rending the prey, when and where they thought fit, from the 
earliest dawn of history till the time we have now come to, 
when times began to change; old things were passing away, 
and the dirk and claymore were beginning to give way to the 
plough and the pen; and even the proud barons of Straloch 
began to reclaim their lands from the wild state of nature, and 
to cultivate their fields, and attend to me breeding of cattle on 
their farms, instead of lifting them from their foes, as had been 
their wont. 

The worthy old minister of Glenmuick — the Rev. James 
Robertson — tells us, in his MS. History of the Barons of 
Straloch, how his great-grandfather, the third Alexander, at 
this time began to turn his attention to agriculture, as follows — - 

" This Alexander III. was a discreet, sober, peaceable 
gentleman, the most frugal and wisest that were in the family 

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Early History of Strathardle. 329 

before him. Prudent and careful of his affairs; diligent in 
attending to his husbandry; took great delight in cattle, of 
which he had considerable herds, not only in his own possession, 
but laid out by way of ' bows' (as they call them) in the hands 
of such of his tenants as lived in farms proper for it. By these 
means, under God, he recovered the family when almost sunk 
under a great burden of debts that his father had laid it under. 
I have often been told by old men that, when he entered on 
the estate, it was so far burdened that all was in the hands of 
creditors and life-renters, except Minoch, wherein he dwelt. 
Being one day straightened for want of money, he spoke to one 
Fleming, who had a wadset on his Mains of Inverchroskie, to 
lend him some money. But the carle answered him reproach- 
fully, saying — 'Co bheireadh dhuibhse airgaid? C'ait am 
beil bonn nur creideas V — ' Who would give you money ? Where 
is your foundation of credit'?' This insolent answer so far 
vexed him that he went and sold his cattle, made money of 
them, and paid Fleming, and freed his Mains, and came and 
dwelt on it, and kept Minoch for grazing and fother to his 
beasts, making up his herds again, by buying here and there, 
after he had come to Inverchroskie. It is reported that in the 
winter he consulted an honest man that lived over against him, 
in a place called Dalnaguilsich (the level field, on the south side 
of the Ardle, east of where Aldchroskie burn falls into the 
river), where he might get fother to buy for his beasts. The 
other answered — ' Baron, you are still buying victual : my advice 
to you is, either fit your barn to your byre, or your byre to 
your barn; , and he observed to him that there was a field 
under his house called Press-an-droin, all overgrown with thorns, 
which, if freed of the thorns and well dressed, might keep him 
from buying. This advice had such an impression on him, 
that from that day forth his thoughts ran much upon Press- 
an-droin. At length he convened his tenants, and invited his 
neighbours, and fell heartily to work, and in a short time 
rooted out the thorns and other shrubs that had encumbered 
that ground; and what of it could not be tilled he caused dig, 
and the ground did not disappoint his expectation, for we are 
told that it carried many folds to him for many years. 
This encouraged him to enlarge his Mains in other places, 
build an enclosure above his house, and to go on successfully 
in many improvements. His care and conduct and surprising 
success being observed in the neighbourhood, so far raised his 
reputation and advanced his credit, that they cheerfully lent 
him money when he had use for it. It is observed of this 

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Alexander, that though he entered to his estate under great 
burdens and difficulties, and lived on it but twenty-two years, 
yet, by the blessing of God on his wise and prudent manage- 
ment during that short time, he not only paid all his debts and 
freed all his estate, but gained besides what handsomely pro- 
vided for his family, and had £1000 besides at his death, 
wherewith he was to have purchased Maxwell of Telling's 
superiority of the third part of the large parish of Kirkmichael, 
which was of considerable value before the feu duties were sold 
to the feuars; out his untimely death, in 1636, spoiled all this 

After having nothing to write about but wars and rumours 
of wars for centuries, it is pleasant to see the arts of peace 
beginning to take root, and to find the fertile haughs and 
fields of the strath brought under cultivation. This 
field of Preas-an-droighionn, that we read of here, is the level 
ground above the road just below Balvarran House; it means 
the field of thorn bushes, a perfect thicket of which, before this 
time, covered all the low grounds from Kirkmichael to Kin- 
drogan, which latter place takes its name from tae thorns 
ending there — " Ceann-an-Droighionn," the end of the thorns. 

1629. — On 7th March, Robert Fergusson of Derculich and 
Dunfallandy was served heir to certain lands in the barony of 
Douny, viz. : — Over Douny, Middle Douny, Borland, Edmar- 
nochty, Cultalony, Stronymuck, Pitbrane, and Glenderby, iu 
Strathardle; and those of Finnegand,' Inneredrie, and its mill, 
Bynanmore, Bynanbeg, Riedorach, Kerrow, Cuthill, Dalmungie, 
and Glenbeg, in Glenshee; paying £32. — Retours, Perth, 3G7. 
And, on 18th July, Robert Stewart was served heir to his 
father, Lord James Stewart of Ballechin, to various lands, 
amongst them, part of the lands of Pitlochry, with their 
pendicle in Glenbrierachan of Edraharvie; and the lands of 
Kinnaird, with its pendicle of Clunskea on the water of 
Brierachan : — " 4 libratis terrarum de Pitlochrie, et pendicula 
ejusdem in Glenbrierachan nuncupata Eddaraharvie : terras de 
Kynnaird cum pendicula vocatis Clunysca super aqua de Brochin 
infra parochiam de Mwling." 

1640. — A stirring event took place in July of this year, 
which has ever since been famous in song and story, viz., the 
burning of the " Bonnie House o' Airlie." Who has not heard 
that — 

It fell on a day, on a bonnie summer day, 

When corn grows green and barley, 

That there fell out a great dispute 

Between Argyle and Airlie. 

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Early History of Strathardle. 331 

Argyle he has ta'en a hunder o' his men. 
A hunder o' his men and mairly, 
And he's gane doun by the back o' Dunkel 
To plunder the Bonnie House o' Airlie. 

Lady Ogilvie looked o'er her castle wa\ 
And oh ! but she sighed sairly, 
To see Argyle an' a' his men 
Come to plunder the Bonnie House o' Airlie. 

" Come doun, come doun, Madame Ogilvie," he cried , 

" Come doun and kiss me fairlie, 

Or I swear by the sword I haud in my hand, 

I winna leave a stan'in stane in Airlie." 

" I winna come doun, ye fause Argyle, 

Nor yet will I kiss ye fairlie, 

Tho' ye swear by the sword ye haud in yer hand 

That yc winna leave a stan'in stane in Airlie. 

" O had my ain gudeman been at hame, 

As he's awa' wi' Charlie, 

There's no a Campbell in a' Argyle 

Dare hae trod on the bonnie green o' Airlie. 

" But since we can haud out na mair, 
My hand I offer fairlie : 
Oh ! lead me doun to yonder glen, 
That I mayna see the burnin'' o' Airlie." 

He has ta'en her by the trembling hand, 
But he's no ta'en her fairlie, 
For he's led her up to a hie hill tap, 
Where she saw the burnin' o' Airlie. 

Clouds o' smoke and flames so hie, 
Soon left the walls but barely ; 
And she laid her doun on that hill to die, 
When she saw the burnin' o' Airlie. 

We all know that poets nave a certam amount of licence, 
and many a good old song is not literally correct as to facts, 
and though it always grieves me to knock the romance out of 
either a good old song or story, yet I must say here that this 
beautiful song gives Argyle credit for personally leading his 
clan to plunder their foes, whereas, even though circumstances 
were most favourable, as Lady Ogilvie's gudeman and her 

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332 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

gallant sons were " a' awa' wi' Charlie," and only herself left 10 
guard the castle, yet Argyle kept at a safe distance, just as he 
did five years after, when he three times fled on board his 
galley and sailed south, leaving his clansmen to the tender 
mercies of Montrose. Argyle himself never went 

" lipun by the back o' Dunkel 
To plunder the Bonnie House o' Airlie." 

But he sent his kinsman, Dougal Campbell of Inverawe, to do 
so, with strict ordres to burn the castle — " Ye shall fyre it 
weill, that so it may be destroyed." But, with his usual craft, 
he wishes to keep himself clear, so he cautiously adds — " Bot 
ye neid not lett know that you have directions from me to 
fyre it." 

So very anxious was Argyle to secure for himself all the 
" haill nolt (cattle), shiepe, horss, and mearis, perteineing to my 
Lord Ogilbie," that he could not wait for the return of the 
expedition from Glenisla to his own countrv, but he must needs 
come all the way to Strathardle to meet them at the bottom of 
Glen Fernate. 

The original letter of instructions, which Argyle gave Dougal 
Campbell, for the plundering and burning of Airlie (or rather 
Forthar Castle), is still preserved at Inverawe House, and as 
it is a great curiosity, showing, as it does, the cool, business way 
in which war was carried on in those days between rival clans, 
I may give it in full : — 

" July, 1640. Dowgall, — I mynd, God willing, to lift from 
this the morrow, and therefore ye shall meitt me the morrow 
at nicht at Stronarnot, in Strathardill ; and cause bring alonges 
with you the haill nolt and shiepe that ye have fundin per- 
teineing to my lord Ogilbie. As for the horrs and mearis that 
ye have gottine perteining'to him, ye shall not fail to direcjb 
thame home to the Strane moor. I desyre not that they be in 
our way at all, and to send thame the neirest way home. And 
albeit ye should be the langer in following me, j^ett ye shall not 
fail to stay and demolishe my- lord Ogilbies hous of Forthar. 
Sie how ye can cast off the irone yeattis and windows, and tak 
down the rooff; and if ye find it will be langsome, ye shall 
fyre it weill, that so it may be destroyed. Bot ye neid not to 
latt know that ye have directions from me to fyir it: only ye 
may say that ye have warrand to demolishe it, and that, to 
mak the work short, ye will fyr it. Iff ye mak any stay for 
doing of this, send fordwart the goodis. So referring this to 
your cair, I rest, your freynd, Argyll." 

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Early History of Strathardle. 33& 

The last verse of the song commemorates how " Dowgall" 
carried out but too completely the furtive and confidential 
orders he had received from his Chief — 

" Clouds o' smoke and flames sae hie, 
Soon left the wa's but barely; 
And she laid her doun on that hill to die, 
When she saw the burning o' Airlie." 

I may here say that the song correctly describes the route of 
the Campbells on their way to the Ogilvie country — 

" And he's gane doun v the back o' Dunkel 
To plunder the Bonnie House o' Airlie." 

They came ^y Breadalbane, Logierait, up the Braes of Tully- 
met, and through the Pass of Athollford at the head of 
Glenc]erby, and down that glen, which is literally at "the 
back o' Dunkeld," and by Kirkmichael and Glen Kilrey, to 

There had been an old feud between the Ogilvies and the 
Campbells, as we have already seen that the Argyle men many 
times raided Glenisla, especially in 1591 ; and as the two chiefs 
now took opposite sides in the politics of the day, Airlie going 
for the King, and Argyle for the Covenant, of course a state of 
civil war was the time to gratify private revenge, and settle an 
old clan feud. 

Argyle had his innings first, when he burnt the Bonnie 
House o' Airlie, but Airlie had ample revenge on the Campbell 
Clan four years after, on many a bloody field, under the gallant 
Montrose, and finally sqared accounts with Argyle in 1645, by 
the burning of Castle Campbell, or, as it was then called, the 
Castle of Gloom, of which we have a *rood account in " Perth, 
its Annals and Archives/' page 279, where it says: — "Mon- 
trose descended once more from the mountains in the glory of 
victory, with an augmented army, and soon after moved to the 
westward. After threatening Perth, where, the Covenanters 
occupied entrenchments, he made his way through the county 
of Kinross, on leaving which he skirted the Ochills, in the 
southern part of Perthshire, and, chiefly at the instigation of 
the Ogilvies, as a retaliation for the destruction of ' the Bonnie 
Hous o' Airlie/ five years before, he doomed to the flames one 
of the most magnificent of the old baronial strongholds in 
Scotland — magnificent still, even in its extensive ruins. This 
was the noble castle, the property of Argyle, occupying the 

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334 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

summit of a most picturesque and remarkable eminence in the 
gorge of a romantic glen in the Ochills, near Dollar, Its 
majestic ruins and most singular situation are highly attractive 
to tourists to this day. It is still called Castle Campbell, but 
formerly it was styled Castle Gloom, or the Castle of Gloom. 
The situation corresponds with this. It is accessible only from 
behind ; and the visitor has first to go up the hill, then to come 
down again, and approach by a narrow access betwixt two deep 
and gloomy ravines, each upwards of three hundred feet deep, 
and having a rushing mountain torrent on each side — the one 
known by the name of Grief, and the other Care — both uniting 
at the foot of the promontory in the rivulet named Dolour, half 
a mile above the town of Dollar — said to be a corruption, or 
rather a different orthography, of the word. Sir Walter Scott 
justly remarks that ' the destruction of many a meaner habita- 
tion, by the same unscrupulous and unsparing spirit of ven- 
gor.nce, has long been forgotten; but the majestic ruins of 
Castle Campbell still excite a sigh, in those that view them, 
over the nurseries of civil war/ " 

Having now seen the Ogilvies amply revenged on the 
Campbells for burning the Bonnie House o' Airlie, we must 
turn to other scenes, as these were stirring times for 
Strathardle during the wars of Montrose, so I may here tell 
you some of the exploits of our most famous archer — the most 
expert bowman, and one of the greatest worthies, ever known 
in our district. 

1644. — At this time there lived in Glen Taitneach, a little 
above the Spittal of Glenshee, oneJohn Grant, known in Gaelic 
as the " Cam-Ruadh" — the , one-eyed, red-haired man — whose 
feats with the bow surpassed all others, and whose fame is still 
fresh all over the central Highlands. James Grant, in his 
" Legends of the Braes o' Mar," thus describes our hero : — 

" The Cam-Ruadh was as ugly a five-feet-high carl as you 
would wish to see on the longest summer day's journey. He 
had a provoking little warty nose, that came out between his 
eyes broad and flat like my thumb, and turned up into the air 
in a most impertinent pug, just as if it was not worth its pains 
to smell anything earthly. A pair of broad cheeks, whereon 
you could see every rough, red, knotted vein, like the ditches of 
a corn field on a dry summer, ended on each side of the nose, 
with a lump below the eyes, in a thin crop of red whiskers, the 
birse of which went away scrambling everywhere, as in a 
desperate search for their neighbours. He had but one eye — 
a large border of red surrounding a bright circle of blue — so 

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Early History of Strathardle. 335 

bright indeed that it shone like a star. The frame of the 
Cam-Ruadh was as strong as a block of oak. His legs were 
shockingly bandied, and his feet were as flat as shingles. What 
of that? 'A man's a man for a' that;' and the Cam-Ruadh 
was possessed of many enviable qualifications and acquirements. 
He could distinguish a blue-bottle fly on a granite stone at a 
distance of twenty yards with his one eye. He could send an 
arrow twice as far as an ordinary person, with force to kill an 
ox, and accuracy to hit a midge. Not a hind, hound or hare 
could beat him at a long race, and but little at a short one. 
No person can say much of the Carn-Ruadh's sentiments or 
opinions, for he seldom said more than three words at a time. 
He was as obstinate as a pig, and a deal more cunning than a 
fox. Such as he was, he found the way of winning one fair 
damsels heart, and descendants of their's are still amongst us." 

At this time, Argyle had quartered a strong body of Camp- 
bells in lower Braemar, from where, from the beginning of 
May till July, 1644, they made continual raids on all the sur- 
rounding glens; and so thoroughly did they do their work of 
" cleaning" these glens of every hoof and horn of cattle, that 
they became known by the name of the Cleansers" — a name, 
like that of the Black Douglas of old, still used to frighten 
naughty children in these glens. The Cleansers had made 
several rather extensive raids into Glenshee and Glenisla. 

For offences of this kind against his goods and chattels, 
the Cam had conceived an inexpressible hatred to these gentle- 
men, as indeed to all kern kind in general, and he shot them 
down like hoodie crows, till every corrie and glen smelt with 
carrion. One night, however, as he returned from the hills, 
disgusted with the sights that met him on every hand, the 
Cam-Ruadh vowed his hand would not, for the space of one 
whole day, be lifted against human life, Cleansers and kern 
included, unless in self-defence. Unfortunately, that very night 
the Cleansers made an inroad from Cromar, and cleansed Glen- 
shee and Glenisla of hoof and horn. Glenshee was furious, and 
Glenisla in a ferment; the men of both glens rose, and it was 
agreed that, marching from opposite directions, they should 
simultaneously surround and destroy the enemy.* To make 
surer work, a messenger was despatched to the Laird of Dal- 
more, praying him to hasten to their assistance with the 
Braemar men. By the grey of morning the different parties 
were on the march. Unfortunately, no leader was chosen, and 
no rendezvous appointed, and the Glenshee men went forward 
in small straggling bands, as they happened to meet on the 

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way. Thus the Cleansers fell upon them separately, and 
destroyed them as they came up, with little or no loss to them- 
selves. This skirmishing fight continued for some hours, the 
Cleansers withdrawing with their spoil in the direction of the 
Cairnwell. The Gienisla men, having prudently stationed 
themselves in a body on the Maol Odhar, and considering it 
" best to sleep in a hale skin, did not advance to the assistance 
of their neighbours. Had they not been a pack of miserable 
cowards, the arrival of the brawny miller, his seven sons, and 
the strongest party of the Glenshee men that had yet appeared, 
gave them an excellent opportunity of attacking the common 
foe in the rear, while hotly pressed in front by the Glenshee 
and Strathardle men. During all this time, the Cam-Ruadh, 
who had early intelligence of the raid, hung hovering like a 
ghost on the flanks of the Cleansers. Sorely did he repent him 
of his rash oath, and often did he look up to the heavens, 
measuring the distance which the sun had yet to go ere he 
could deem himself free. Meanwhile, the miller and his seven 
sons did prodigies of valour, cursing the cowards of Gienisla, 
and often turning their expectant eyes in the direction of 
Braemar. One after another of the seven sons fell, and as 
death after death was told to the father, he pressed on more 
hotly, crying out, " Fight to-day, and lament to-morrow." All 
were gone, but still ne repeated the cry, standing over the body 
of the last one. At length he fell himself on his knees. A 
stout Cleanser engaged him, but, after some strokes, stept back, 
well knowing that he had but a few moments to live, and 
fearful of risking himself against the last nervous efforts of 
so terrible a foe. It was mid-day. His arms fell powerless by 
his side, and he cast a last longing look with his fast-dimming 
eyes in the direction of Braemar. He saw nothing there; but 
the strange movement of a bush of rushes attracted his atten- 
tion. There he perceived, peering, a red eye, whose bright 
light seemed to enter his brain. His eye, too, brightened up; 
his vigour returned. There was a twang heard — a hiss in the 
air. There was a white streak, shot like lightning, before his 
eyes. The Cleanser, who had returned, and stood with uplifted 
sword to deal the miller the last blow, shreiked and lept up 
convulsively from the ground. The miller sprang to his feet. 
The two clasped each other in their arms, and, with their dirks 
driven to the hilt in one another's backs, fell dead together. 

Consternation seized on the' Cleansers. Arrow after arrow 
— they knew not from whence — came dealing sure death in their 
ranks. Not a single one missed its mark. Man after man fell 

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Early History of Strathardle. 337 

fast around. The Glenshee men kept up a feeble discharge, 
and helped to distract their attention. They yelled in fury, but 
the avenging hand still smote them. Eighteen of their number 
lay stretched upon the ground. A blast of wind swept over the 
heather, and, catching the Cam-Ruadh's plaid, raised it in the 
air. The dark object caught the Cleansers' eyes. A whole 
swarm of them rushed yelling to the place. The last arrow was 
adjusted, the bow twanged, but the arrow snapt. " Curse 
you," cried the Cam, in fury, throwing the bow after the broken 
arrow. He lept from his ludinsf-place. He was cut off from 
the Glenshee men, so he fled down the hill like a mountain 
deer. He distanced his pursuers every moment. The foremost 
of the Cleansers seeing this, bent his bow and sent an arrow 
after the fugitive. It flew with unerring aim, and entered the 
Cam's back, which only increased his speed, so they gave up the 
chase in despair, just as a loud shout from the hill above 
announced the coming of the long-expected Braemar men. The 
Glenshee men answered with a hearty cheer, and a feeble cry 
from the top of the Maol Odhar testified that the Glenisla men 
were not asleep. Then the Cleansers fled amain, leaving all 
the flocks and herds they had captured. 

When the Braemar men arrived, and were told the various 
incidents of the fight, their indignation against the Glenisla 
men knew no bounds. j±s they drew near, making a thousand 
excuses and flattering phrases, they were told, in the sternest 
way, to take what belonged to them and be gone; and from 
that time till very recently the brave men of Strathardle, Glen- 
shee, and Braemar woui^ scarcely speak to any one from 
Glenisla. The Glenshee men went sorrowfully home with their 
flocks, so dearly recovered, and the Braemar men set off in 
pursuit of the Cleansers; and there is a tradition that the 
slaughter was so great that thirty-eight widows afterwards came 
to carry off their husbands' bodies. 

The poor Cam-Ruadh, as he went trudging home, was 
saluted by every old woman he passed with — " Chaim-Ruaidh, 
Chaim-Ruaidh ! tha saighead na do thoin" : "Cam-Ruadh, 
Cam-Ruadh! there is an arrow in your back;" to which he 
would testily reply — "Tha fios agam fhein air sin" : "I know 
that myself," and pass on. Arrived at home, the difficulty was 
to have the arrow extracted. His wife pulled, and better tnan 
pulled, like the better half she was, but all was of no avail. 
At length the fertile brain of the Cam found an expedient, 
which I would recommend to every one in similar circum- 
stances. Lying down on his face, full length, his wife stepped 


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338 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

upon his back, and, placing a foot on each side of the arrow, 
gave a long pull, and a sti"ongf pull, and a pull altogether, till 
out it came, the barb bringing with it a whole screed of the 
Cam's flesh. This deficit he had care immediately to supply 
by falling to a plentiful dinner of venison, after taking a 
second bow and a quiverful of arrows from the roost, to prevent 
all unpleasant interruptions to his meal. 

Among the Cleansers shot by the Cam-Ruadh at the battle 
of the Cairnwell was the Baron Macdiarmid, chief of a sept of 
Clan Campbell, who left a family of seven sons, stout and bold, 
to avenge his death. Before they left Aberdeenshire they had 
ferreted out who the terrible archer was, and they determined 
to return to avenge their father's death on the Cam-Ruadh. 

One cold, misty day, as the Cam was herding his flocks on 
the hills with an old blanket over him for shelter, which 
garment certainly gave him rather a crazy look, he felt a tap 
on his shoulder, and , turning round, beheld — yes, he knew 
them at once — a dozen Cleansers. His eye blazed like a bon- 
fire, but he saw no means of escape or defence. 

" Let us go on, there is no use talking to that fool," says one. 

" It matters little," said another, " fool or no fool, if he tells 
us what we want." 

" My man," says their captain, " can you show us where 
the Cam-Ruadh lives?" 

" Perhaps I can," answered the Cam, very innocently. 

"Is it far from hence ?" 

" Perhaps it is," was the answer. 

The Cam now took a great fit of affection to their bows and 
arrows, pretending not to know what they were, or their use. 
The captain, thinking to gain him, told him that he would give 
him one of these pretty things, and a quiver full of arrows, if 
he would find the Cam-Ruadh for them. 

" Which of them?" says the Cam. 

" Your choice," answered the captain. 

The wily Cam at once chose the best bow and largest 
quiver of arrows, and then told them that they were of no use 
to hiTn unless they showed him how to use them. So, to coax 
him, the captain pointed out a large white stone on the other 
side of a burn, and showed him how to shoot at it. After 
many blunders and awkward attempts, the Cam managed to 
send all the arrows over the burn but one, and it so happened 
that just as he was to fire it, a smaH bird flew and alighted on 
the top of the stone. He aimed at it, and it fell dead. "A 
splendid shot!" cried the Cam, as he bounded away, carrying 
the bow with him, to lift the bird. The Cleansers considered. 

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Early History of Strathatdle. 339 

this as a sheer chance hit, and suffered him quietly to gather 
all the arrows he had shot. When he had them all collected, 
he stepped behind the large stone, and, holding up the dead 
bird in one hand, and the bow with a menacing arrow in the 
other, cried out, " 'S mis' an Cam-Ruadh" — " I'm the Cani- 
Ruadh." After this brief though startling announcement, he 
bent down behind the stone, so that tne Cleansers only saw the 
upper part of a bent bow and the point of an arrow directed 
against them. 

* Mercy," cried the chief, " and we will go without harming 
any one." 

*' If you don't," replied the Cam, and he drew the bow to 
its full strength. 

The Cleansers waited no longer — every one made for him- 
self ; and the Cam, following up in the rear, from time to time 
hastened their speed by a loud shout, till he saw them beyond 
the bounds of Glenshee. 

This last exploit exasperated the Cleansers, and during tha 
winter that followed the seven Macdiarmid brothers set out to 
balance accounts with the Cam. If it was a bad night when 
they met him last, it was doubly worse now. The snow fell 
fast and deep, and the frost was very keen. The Cam and his 
wife sat that night by their fireside, blessing themselves that 
they had a home, however humble — and it was nothing to 
brag about. A little hut, with windows where a turf supplied 
the place of glass, was the habitation of the Cam-Ruadh. The 
Cam happened to be in extra good humour that stormy night, 
and as the worthy pair sat basking themselves before a good 
fire, the better half asked — '" What would you do, Cam, if the 
Cleansers came to-night?" 

,k Give them meat," replied the Cam. 

" And then?" continued the wife. 

"' Let them sleep," said he. 

" And at last ?" persisted the dame, astonished at the extra- 
ordinary moderation of her husband. " J 

" Let them begone," answered he testily. 

"' Be as good as your word, ' cried a gruff voice from oucside, 
"for I am sure we were never in greater need of what you 

" Surrender arms first," replied the Cam, who had little 
expected this strange turn to his matrimonial converse and 
happiness. He was, however, armed in a moment, and ready 
for defence. 

" Send out your wife, then, Cam-Ruadh," cried the chief, 
" and we will give up our arms to her." 

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She got their arms, and then the Cleansers were admitted 
to thaw their frozen limbs at the fire. They got a good sheep 
from the fold, and plenty good ale to wash it down, and things 
got on so well that before morning a peace was agreed upon ; 
and before they left Glentaitneach an alliance, offensive and 
defensive, was entered into, and they parted the best of friends. 

Some time after, these Macdiarmids came to open war with 
another clan, and the Cam was sent for, and, according to the 
terms of the alliance, he set off to their assistance. He was 
late; they were all gone. The Cam, however, asked their 
mother the way t-ey went. She looked at the strange creature 
before her in astonis-jnent, and exclaimed — " Are you going 
to help themf 

" Yes/' said he. 

" If they do with you, they'll do without you." 

" That may very well be," quoth the Cam, drily, " but I'll 
go and see." 

She carelessly pointed out the way, and he arrived in the 
very nick of time. His friends, the Macdiarmids were in 
flight. Sheltering himself in a hollow, his unerring shafts 
began to fly in every direction, and certain death went with 
each arrow into the ranks of Clan Diarmid's foes, whose 
courage fell. The fight was renewed, and the Cam's friends, 
owing to his prowess, came off victorious. 

Some time after this, the Baron Euadh of Straloeh had his 
cattle continually stolen from his folds at Balvarran by maraud- 
ing caterans from Lochaber, in spite of all his watchfulness ; 
and the Baron, who well knew the Cam-Ruadh, requested the? 
favour of a visit to try what could be done.. Of course, the 
robbers always chose the darkest nights for their operations, 
when they could get the cattle away unseen. The Cam-Ruadh, 
however, outwitted them, by enclosing in the fold a white cow, 
which he purposely lamed. He then lay down beside the wall 
of the fold to wait results, armed, of course, with his trusty bow. 
At length, on a very dark night, he heard the robbers beginning 
to drive off the cattle, and, fitting an arrow to his bow, he 
followed quietly till they got a start, when, of course, the lamed 
white cow dropped to the rear, when it became the business of 
the driver to urge her on, which he did by giving her a ringing 
thump across the back with a stick. That was the wily Cam's 
chance; every time he heard that thunrr> he let fly an arrow, 
aimed immediately behind the white eow, which he amid see 
In the dark, and that driver dropped unseen, and his place was, 
Boon taken by another, to- share the same fate. After he had 

Early History of Strathardle. 341 

slain many of them in this way, the robters got alarmed at 
the sudden and mysterious disappearance of their comrades, 
and, leaving their prey, they tied westwards towards Ald- 
chroskie. But the cunning Cam, being fleet of foot, and know- 
ing the ground, got before them to Aldchroskie burn, .and 
scrambling down the steep banks, where Aldchroskie House 
now stands, he got to the bed of the burn, and as each 
straggling robber appeared on the top of the high bank, the 
Cam had a clear view of him between him and the sky-line, 
and quickly sent an arrow through him. One by one they 
rolled down at his feet into the bed of the burn, where every 
little pool ran red wiui their blood — aye, so red that even to 
this day the stones in the bed of the burn are believed to bear 
the stains of their blood. Many a time, when I was a boy, 
have I gone with other children, on the hot summer days when 
the burn was almost dry, to look for the blood-stained stones, 
dyed by the blood of these caterans from Keppoch, not one of 
whom ever " returned to Lochaber no more," as the Cam slew 
them all. To this day their ghosts haunt that spot, and of all 
the haunted and uncanny places in the district, and they are 
many, this was always reckoned the most dangerous place to 
pass at night. Many a curious story have I heard of the 
different shapes and forms in which the famous ghost of Ald- 
chroskie appeared to different persons, but I am afraid that, 
like many other things connected with the good old times, this 
famous ghost has now disappeared. 

As for the Cam-Ruadh, for all his perilous adventures, he 
died in peace, at a good old age, the pride and boast of his 

1644-6. — At this time began the wars of the great Marquis 
of Montrose, a leader who, above all others, understood the 
Highlanders, and called forth all their best qualities as soldiers 
— their bravery and endurance, and, above all, their ability in 
marching incredible distances, over the highest mountains and 
wildest routes, and in the roughest weather and deepest snow, 
on which occasions Montrose himself always marched on foot 
at their head, dressed in the Highland garb. As an example of 
the extraodinary marching powers of Montrose himself, which 
have never been equalled, or anything near it, by any other 
general known in the world's history, Wishart informs us, in 
his "Life of Montrose/' page 69, that when the Marquis 
arrived at Blair-Atholl, and there met Alexander Macdonaldr — 
the famous " Alasdair Mac Cholla" of Highland song and story 
— and his Irish forces, " Montrose had travelled seventy miles 

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on foot, in a Highland dress, accompanied only by his cousin, 
x Patrick Graham of Inchbrakie, as his guide." Where is there 
another instance on record of any general marching seventy 
miles on a stretch, even though dressed in the Highland garb. 

But Montrose knew where to go and whom to trust, as we 
read in Brown's " History of the Highlands," page 336 : — " In 
fixing on Atholl as the place of his rendezvous, Montrose is 
said to have been actuated by an implicit reliance on the 
fidelity and loyalty of the Atholl men, and by a high opinion 
of their courage. They lay, besides, under many obligations 
to himself, and he calculated that he had onh T to appear among 
them to command their services in the cause of their sovereign. ' 

When Macdonald first got instructions, when he arrived oh 
the West Coast, to join Montrose, he marched towards Atholl 
through Lochaber, but on coming to Badenoch he was threat- 
ened with an attack by the Earls of Seaforth and Sutherland 
at the head of their own clans, assisted by the Frasers, Grants, 
Rosses, and Munros, and other northern clans, who had 
assembled at the top of Drumuachdar ; but Macdonald very 
cautiously avoided them, and hastened into Atholl by a round- 
about way, by marching from Balachroan, where he was 
encamped, eastward, through Glenfeshie, down Glenlochsie and 
Glenshee, and then westward, through Strathardle and the back 
of Benvrackie, to Blair- Atholl. 

On arriving in Atholl, Macdonald was coldly received by 
the people of that, as well as the surrounding country, who 
doubted whether he had any authoritv from the King ; besides, 
they hesitated to place themselves under the command cf :i 
person of neither noble nor ancient lineage, and whom they 
considered an upstart. This indecision might have proved 
fatal to Macdonald, who was closely pressed in the rear bv the 
army of Argyll, had not these untoward deliberations been 
instantly put an end to by the arrival of Montrose at Blair, 
where Macdonald had fixed his headquarters. Montrose's* 
appearance was hailed by the Athollmen with every demonstra- 
tion of joy, and they immediately made him a spontaneous 
offer of their services, and on the following day the Athollmen. 
to the number of 800, consisting chiefly of the Stewarts, 
Robertsons, and Fergussons, put themselves under arms, and 
flocked to the standard of Montrose. Thus, in little moro than 
twenty-four hours, Montrose saw himself at the head cf a 
force of upwards of 2000 men, animated by an enthusiastic 
attachment to his person and to the cause which he had 

Though the Robertsons of Struan and Atholl joined 

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Early History of Strathardle. 343 

Montrose, yet the Robertsons of - Strathardle did not, as owing* 
to their chieftain, the Baron of Straloch, the most influential 
leader in the strath, being a rigid Covenanter, the Strathardle 
men on this occasion took the opposite side from the rest of the 
Atholl clansmen, which is one of the many proofs we have that 
the Highland clansmen did not always blindly follow their 
chiefs, regardless of right or wrong, as most Lowland writers 
would have us believe. Aye, and not only these Strathardle 
Robertsons and their chieftain, the bold Baron Ruadh, but all 
the other inhabitants of the strath, both Whig and Tory, 
suffered as well, as the whole district was several times burnt 
and harried by the armies of both parties All the houses in 
the strath were burnt, and amongst them the Baron Ruadh's 
new house of Balvarron, which was then only three years built, 
as we read in the Robertsons of Straloch," page 24 : — " The 
Parliaments of both kingdoms thought it needful to stand for 
religion and liberty against the encroachments of Court and 
clergy, and the Baron (John VII.) very early appeared on the 
Parliamentary side, therefore the Marquis of Montrose, on his 
march from the Highlands to Tippermuir, caused burn his 
dwelling-house and ruin his tenants." Again we read, at page 
45: — "The Barron (John VIII.) resolved not to join Lord 
Dundee be the event what it may, but was in great perplexity, 
minding that his father's whole bigging was burned by another 
Graham (Montrose) in 1644, and knew not but he might 
happen to undergo the same." 

The Rev. James Robertson (son of Baron John VIII.), the 
historian of the Stralochs, though generally very correct, is 
mistaken in the time of the burning of Balvarron House, when 
he says — " The Marquis of Montrose, on his march from the 
Highlands to Tippermuir, caused burn his house and ruin his 
tenants;" as all authorities agree that Montrose, accompanied 
only by Inch bra kie, travelled by a circuitous route from Tully- 
beltane House to Blair- Atholl, where he met Macdonald, and 
from where, as soon as the Atholl men joined him early next 
morning, he at once started south by Castle Menzies on his 
way to Strathearn, as we read in Brown's " History of the 
Highlands," page 337: — "The Atholl men, to the number of 
800, flocked to the standard of Montrose. Impressed with the 
necessity of acting with promptitude, he did not hesitate long 
as to the course he should pursue. He might have gone 
immediately in pursuit of Argyll, who had followed the army 
of Macdonald with slow and cautious steps, and by one of 
these sudden movements, which no man knew better how to 
execute with advantage, surprised and defeated his adversary : 

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but such a plan did accord 'with the designs of Montrose, who 
resolved to open the campaign at once in the Lowlands, and 
thus give confidence to the friends and supporters of the King. 
In pursuance of this determination, he had put his small army 
in motion the same day towards Strathearn, in passing through 
which he expected to be joined by some of the inhabitants of 
that and the adjoining coimtry. At the same time he sent 
forward a messenger with a friendly notice to the Menzieses 
of his intention to pass through their country, but instead of 
taking this in good part, they maltreated his messenger, and 
harassed the rear of his army. This unprovoked attack so 
exasperated Montrose that he ordered his men, when passing 
by Weem Castle, which belonged to the Clan Menzies, to plunder 
and lay waste their lands and burn their houses, an order 
which was literally obeyed.. Notwithstanding the time spent 
in making these reprisals, Montrose passed the Tay the same 

So we see it was impossible that Montrose could *' cause 
burn" Balvarron House on his way from Blair to Tippermuir. 
If it was burnt at all before that battle, it must have been done 
by Macdonald when he was passing through Strathardle on his 
way to Blair, which is quite possible, as he burnt and plundered 
as he went along, as we read in the " Annals of Perth," page 
269: — "In August, 1644, Alex. Macdonald, alias Colcattoch's 
son, who came from Ireland with an army against the Marquis 
of Argyll, landed with his ships in the Isle of Skye, He went 
through the Western Isles, and through Lochaber, untill he 
came to i>adenoch, and encamped there on Friday, 22nd 
August, at night. Next night he pitched at BaUichroan, 
where he rested Saturday and Sunday. He laid waste all the 
country round, and burnt and destroyed the standing com, and 
carried away the choice young men, and pressed them into his 
service. From thence he passed through Glenshee into Atholl. 
He joined Montrose at Blair Castle, whom he found dressed in 
Highland weed." 

Of course we have already seen that Argyll followed Mcc- 
donald's army through Glenshee and Strathardle, burning and 
plundering also; and though Macdonald spared the lands and 
nouses of all the Eoyalist inhabitants who were of his own 
party, yet Argyll, having many an Oiu grudge again >t the 
Strathardle men, burnt and plundered without mercy fie lands 
of both friend and foe alike in Glenshee and Strathardle. I 
have already many times had to chronicle the bitter feuds, 
raids, and forays that took place between the Campbells and 

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Early History of Strathardle. 345 

the Strathardle men, so there was no love lost between them; 
and as on this occasion Argyll had ample time, having made a 
halt in Strathardle, not caring to follow Macdonald into the 
heart of the country of his hereditary foes of Atholl, so, instead 
of following Mac Coll Kittoch up Glen Brierachan and on o 
Blair Castle, Argyll encamped in Strathardle, and spent his 
time in burning and laying waste the strath, and in carrying 
off all the cattle of the district, and destroying the crops, till 
there was nothing left but bare fields and smoking ruins, which 
caused this time to be ever afterwards remembered in Strath - 
ardle as " The hungry harvest of Argyll." 

But as our pithy old proverb says, " Tha latha fhein aig na 
h-uile fear" — "Every man has his day;" and this was parti- 
cularly true in these old fighting days, when the victorious to-day 
were very often the victims to-morrow. This was Argyll's 
day, but Montrose's victories soon changed matters, and a day 
of reckoning and revenge was at hand, when the men of Strath- 
ardle retaliated upon Argyll and his people in a tenfold degree 
the miseries he had occasioned them at this time. 

Montrose at first intended to winter his army in the Low- 
lands, but at the earnest request of the Clan Donald, and the 
Atholl and Strathardle men, who had all suffered so much from 
the Campbells, he changed his plans, and went into the country 
of Argyll instead, where, having divided his army into three 
parties, each under the respective orders of himself, Clanranald, 
and Alex. Macdonald — Mac Coll Kittoch — they spent six weeks 
burning and plundering, and only came away when there was 
nothing else left to destroy. On the march from Atholl into 
Argyll, through Breadalbane — which they also ravaged and 
burnt— Montrose had the Atholl and Strathardle men under 
his own command, but, on reaching Argyll, the latter specially 
requested to oe allowed to join the party imder Ala stair Mac 
Colla, as tney expected to get more freedom under him, »n 
which they Were not mistaken, as we are told that liis party 
did more damage than the other two put together, which must 
have been very great, as we are told in the " B,ed Book of 
Clanranald" that the party under Clanranald slew 900 persons, 
and Wishart tells us that Montrose spared none that were able 
to bear arms, and that he put to death ail the men who were 
going to the rendezvous appointed by Argyll. 

The destroying career of Alasdair Mac Colla in Argyll is 
still kept in remembrance there by the well-known old saying, 
" Alasdair Mac Cholla, fear tholladh nan tighean" — " Alexande : 
Mac Coll, the man to hole our houses." We are told by "Dr 

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346 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Norman Macleod, in the Teachdaire Gaidhealach," that his 
name is still used in Argyll as a bogle to frighten naughty 
children. Many of our Gaelic bards have sung his praises. 
One says : — 

" Alasdair a laoigh mo cheille, 
Co chunnaic na dh'fhag thu n Eirinn? 
Dh' fhag thu na miltean, 's na ceudan, 
'S cha d' fhag thu t-aon leithid fhein ann, 
Calpa cruinn an.t-siubhail eutrom, 
Cas chruinneachadh an t-sluaigh ri cheile; 
Cha deanar cogadh as t-eug 'ais, 
S cha deanar sith gun do reite; 
'S gar am bi na Caimbeulaich reidh riut, 
Gu'n robh an High mar tha mi fein duit," etc. 

" Alastair, my well beloved, 

Whom did you leave behind in Erin ? 

You left hundreds, and left thousands, 

But not your own equal amongst them ; 

With shapely leg, and light-treading foot, 

You swiftly gathered in your people; 

We make not war without your aid, 

Nor peace without your consent; 

And though the Campbells do not love you, 

Yet the King loves you, as I do myself," etc. 

The account given in Brown's " History of the Highlands, 
page 357, of this great raid into Argyll is as follows: — "While 
Argyll was passing his time in Edinburgh, Montrose, who then 
lay in Atholl, was meditating a terrible blow at Argyll himself, 
to revenge the cruelties he had exercised upon the Royalists. 
Nothing could oe more gratifying to Montrose's followers than 
his resolution to carry the war into Argyll's country, as they 
would thus have an ample opportunity of retaliating upon him 
and his retainers the injuries which, for a course of years, they 
had inflicted upon the supporters of royalty in the adjoining 
countries, many of whom had been ruined by Argyll. The 
determination of Montrose having thus met with a willing 
response in tne breasts of his men, he lost no time in putting 
them in motion, so, dividing his army into two parts, he him- 
self marched with the main body, consisting of the Atholl (and 
Strathardle) men and Irish, to Loch Tay, whence he proceeded 
through Breadalbane. The other body, composed of Clan 

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Early Histoiy of Strathardle. 347 

Donald and other Highlanders, he sent by a different route, 
with instructions to meet him at an assigned spot on the borders 
of Argyll. The country through which botn divisions passed, 
being chiefly m possession of Argyll's kinsmen, was laid waste 
by them, particularly the lands of Campbell of Glenorchy. 
When Argyll heard of the ravages committed by Montrose's 
army on the lands of his kinsmen, he hastened home from 
Edinburgh to his castle at Inverary, and gave orders for the 
assembling of his clan. He did not expect an invasion from 
Montrose at such a season of the year; but while reposing in 
fancied security in his impregnable stronghold, some shepherds 
arrived in great terror from the hills, and brought the alarming 
news that the enemy, whom he imagined were about a hundred 
miles distant, were within two miles of his own dwelling. 
Terrified at the unexpected appearance of Montrose, whose 
vengeance he justly dreaded, he had barely self-possession left 
to concert measures for his own personal safety, by taking 
refuge on board a fishing boat in Loch Fyne, in which he at 
once sought his way to the Lowlands, leaving his people and 
country exposed to the merciless will of an enemy thirsting for 
revenge. ±he inhabitants of Argyll, being thus basely aban- 
doned by their Chief, made no attempt to oppose Montrose, 
who, the more effectually to carry his plan for pillaging and 
ravaging the country into execution, divided his army into 
three parties, each under the respective orders of Clamvmald, 
Macdonald, and himself. For upwards of six weeks, viz., from 
13th Dec., 1644, till nearly the end of January following, these 
different bodies traversed the whole country without molesta- 
tion, burning, wasting, and destroying everything which caaie 
within their reach; villages and cottages, furniture, grain, and 
effects of every description were made a prey to the devouri ag 
element of fire. The cattle which they did not succeed in 
driving off were either mutilated or slaughtered, and the whole 
of Argyll and Lorn soon became a dreary waste. Nor were 
the people themselves spared, as the slaughter was immense. 
Wishart says that Montrose spared none that were able to bear 
arms, and that he put to death all the men who were going to 
the rendezvous appointed by Argyll. In fact, before the end of 
January, the face of a single male inhabitant was not to be 
seen throughout the whole extent of Argyll and Lorn. Having 
thus retaliated upon Argyll and his people in a tenfold degree 
the miseries which he had occasioned on the adjoining countries, 
Montrose left Argyll." 

Such is a picture of real life in what is now often called the 

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44 good old" fighting days, in which the man who slew the 
greatest number of his foes, or who burnt or carried off the 
greatest quantity of plunder from them, was counted the 
greatest hero. In proof of this, and in connection with this 
period, I may quote the well-known Gaelic proverb, " Is truagn 
nach bu cheaird sinn gu leir an diugh" — " Tis a pity we were 
not all tinkers to-day" — said by Alastair Mac Cholla, after 
having received great help in a fight from an Atholl tinker, 
named Stewart, who, after killing a great many of the enemv 
and contributing greatly to the victory, after the fight was 
over sat apart on a stone, and when Macdonald, who had 
noticed his gallant bearing in action, sent for him and ?„sked 
who he was, he modestly replied — " I am only a poor man, not 
worthy to be named amongst heroes, being only a poor tinker 
from Atholl;" upon which the gallant Alasdair at once replied, 
in the words of our proverb — " Tis a pity we were not ah 
tinkers to-day.' I may, however, here explain that the wo/d 
" ceard" did not then, as now, mean a tinker, but a smith or 
tradesman, as any Gaelic-speaking man will understand from 
our modern word " fear-ceaird," a tradesman. 

In connection with the burning of Balvarron House, I think 
it is more likely that Montrose burnt it on his way south after 
the battle of Auldearn, as we find him then encamped on the 
banks of the river Ardle. i\apier, in his " Life of Montrose, ; 
says, page 339 : — " A new commander had recently taken the 
field in tne south. The Earl of Crawford lay at the Castle of 
Newtyle in Angus with a body of men lately raised. These 
Montrose resolved to crush at a blow. No sooner therefore had 
he shaken off Baillie in the north, than he again issued from 
Badenoch, crossed the Grampians, and arrived by forced 
marches on the banks of the river Ardle." 

Montrose would have assuredly annihilated Lindsays 
army, which he was preparing to attack, but an unexpected 
occurrence put an end to his design. This was the desertion of 
the Gordons and their friends, who almost all returned north 
to Strathbogie to protect their lands from Baillie, who was 
burning and plundering tnat district. So, instead of reaping the 
promised victory, Montrose was constrained to return north- 
wards with his scant army, through Glenshee and the Braes of 
Mar, to Cromar. ' 

Montrose again passed through Glenshee and Strathardle 
after the battle of Arford, as we read in Wishart, page 218 : — 
" After Aboyne had returned home, Montrose marched through 

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Early History of Strathardle. 349 

Braemar and Glenshee, and so down into Atholl, where he 
increased his forces by a new levy." 

Every time Montrose or any of his party passed through 
Strathardle they burnt and plundered the lands of the Baron 
Ruadh, and the other Covenanters, without mercy; and though 
they spared the lands of the Fergussons, Rattray s, and others, 
who had joined their clansmen of Atholl and gone out with 
Montrose, yet their lands did not escape, as the leaders of the 
Covenant were just as ready as the Royalists to burn and 
plunder when they got the chance, and they three different 
times ravaged the lands of the Royalists in Atholl and Strath- 

When Montrose lay in Cromar after going north from 
Strathardle, the Earl of Lindsaj^ passed westwards from Angus. 
by Glenisla, Glenshee, and Strathardle, into Atholl, burning all 
the country as he went along, as we read in Wishart, page 
143: — "In the meantime the Earl of Lindsay took from 
Baillies' army a thousand old experienced soldiers. Thus 
furnished as if he intended some mighty exploit, he passed 
through the Mearns, and returned into Angus, from thence he 
ranged through Atholl with his army, and plundered and 
burnt all that country, which was the upshot of this great 

And, again, Baillie, after burning Atholl, marched eastwards 
through Strathardle to Kerriemuir, as we find in Spalding's 
" Troubles in Scotland," page 492 : — " Upon Sunday, 3rd May, 
1645, Baillie goes into Atholl and burns and destroys that 
pleasant land, for the loyalty of the inhabitants to their 
sovereign, comes to the Castle of Blair, an impregnable strength, 
but he could not get tnis house taken, and after burning of the 
country he plundered horse, nolt, and sheep, with the haill 
goods thereof for entertaining of his army. Syne marches frae 
Atholl in through the fields to Kerriemuir," etc. 

Altogether, the good folks of Strathardle and Glenshee, 
both Whig and Tory, must have had rather a lively time of it 
during the wars of Montrose, as we find the district so often 
traversed by the armies of both parties, who seem to have 
vied with each other in the zeal with which they burned and 
plundered, and I think it is very appropriate indeed that here 
v— at Rattray — in the lower part of Strathardle, the last act in 
the gieat drama of the brilliant campaign of the gallant Mon- 
trose should take place, when, sorely against his will, and after 
repeated remonstrances, he at last very reluctantly, by the 
King's express and often repeated orders, disbanded his gallant 
army, which, though only composed of rude Irish and simple 

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Highland clansmen — men without any special training, drill, 
or experience as regular soldiers, except what came natural to 
every Highlander — yet performed some of the most extra- 
ordinary marches, the most brilliant military manoeuvres, and 
secured more victories in a shorter period than has ever been 
known during the world's history. 

Wishart tells us : — " Preparatory to disbanding Ins army, 
Montrose appointed it to rendezvous at Rattray, at which 
place, on the thirtieth day of July, he discharged his men, after 
addressing a feeling and animated oration to them, in which he 
gave them due praise for their faithful services and good 
behaviour, and told them his orders from the King, and wade 
them farewell, an event no less sorrowful to the whole army 
than to himself. Their sorrow was likewise considerably aug- 
mented by the thoughts of being separated from their brave and 
successful general, and falling down upon their # knees, with 
tears in their eyes, they obtested him that, seeing the 
King's safety and interest required x^6 immediate departure 
from the kingdom, he would take them along with him to 
whatever corner of the world he would retire, professing their 
readiness to live, to fight, nay, if it so pleased God, even to die 
under his command. And not a few of them privately deter- 
mined, though at the evident risk of their lives and fortunes, 
to follow him without his knowledge, and even against his 
inclination, and to offer him their sevices in a foreign land, 
which they could no longer afford h.m in their own distressed 
native country." 

Such is the account of the affecting farewell, which took 
place in lower Strathardle, oetween Montrose and the few 
remaining brave and adventurous men who had shared with 
him all the dangers and viscissitudes of the battlefield. 

And so ends tye stirring time of the wars of Montrose, in 
which, as we have already seen, Strathardle was six different 
times over-run, burnt, and harried — three times by each party 
—so that the district must have been in a sad state, and the 
poor people must have suffered great loss and hardships. 

In connection with the burning of Balvarran House at this 
time, I may mention that when the late Patrick Small Kier of 
Kindrogan acquired the estate of Balvarran, I, as a small boy, 
accompanied my father, who went to superintend some workmen 
in planting some young trees near the mansion, when, in 
digging a pit for a tree, a cannon ball was dug up, which is 
still preserved in Kindrogan House, and which, no doubt, is 
a relic of the time when Montrose " caused burn the haill 

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Eatly History of Strathardie. 


1646. — We have already seen that, in 1537, King James V. 
gave a charter of confirmation to Robert, the fifth Lord Max- 
well, of the superiority of his lands in Strathardie, and we now 
find that Robert, the ninth lord, who had been created Earl of 
Nithsdale in 1620, was forfeited and sequestered for his loyalty 
to the King, when he, of course, lost his Strathardie lands along 
with his others; but Nithsdale's kinsman, Patrick Maxwell of 
Newark, who held these lands from the Earl, now successfully 
applied to Parliament for the superiority of these lands, as we 
find in the Acts of the Scots Parliament, vol. vi., page 557 : — 
" The Estates of Parliament, having heard and considered the 
supplication of Patrick Maxwell of Newark, desyring that the 
Estates would give and dispone to him the right of superiorite 
of the Lands of Strathardill lyand within the sheriffdom of 
Perth, halden by him, of the late Earl of Nithsdale, with all 
the right of the same lands, competent to the estates by the 
forfaltor of the Earl of * Nithsdale, etc. The said Estates gives, 
grants and dispones to the said Patrick Maxwell of Newark the 
right of superioritie of his said Landis of Strathardill, with all 
the right theirof, to be halden by him of the King's Majestie 
sicklyke, and also freilie in all respects as the late Earl of 
Nithsdale held the same, etc. ' 

1649. — We have, preserved in the Acts of the Scots Parlia- 
ment of this year, one of the most valuable and interesting 
records connected with this period of Perthshire history, and 
which, of course, is authentic, viz., " The Rentall of the County 
of Perth, by Act of the Estates of Parliament of Scotland, 4th 
August, 1649": — 


By Act of the Estates of Parliament, 4th August, 1649. 


William Spalding of Ashintullie for his lands in the 

parish -.. 
John Robertson for Easter Straloch 
Laird of Kirkmichael 
Andrew Rattray for his lands 
Alexander Rattray for Dalrulzian 
William Spalding for Runavpy 
Robert M'Kintosh foi his lands 
John M'Kintosh for Fairneazaird 
Andrew Leslie for Mornloch (now Whitefield) 
Jean Herring for her lands 











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352 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

James Robertson for his part Cultalonies ... 

John Cutts <fe his Goode Sister for their part yreof 

John Robertson for Lenoehraore 

Robert Flemynge for his part B.nzean 

Duncan M'Kenzie for his part yreof 

John Rattray for Boirlands ... 

John Stewart for his half of Dalvouzie 

The said John Stewart for Cuithill... 

John Spalding for one quarter <»f Inneredrie 

Richard M'Kiutosh for part Cambus & quarter 

David Farquh-irson for Broichdarge 
John Robertsou for Bleatone 
John Rattray for Mylne of Eunoch... 
John Robertson for half of Wester Eunoch 
John Murray for Balnabriche ... .... 

John Dowlich for his part Balmyle and Merkland... 

John Stewart for his half Balmyle ... 

John Easson for his half yreof 

John Robertson for Stronymuick & oyr lands 

John Stewart for Easter Bannateym 

Janet Robertson for her part Balmacrochie 

Patrick Fergussone for his part yreof 

John Mustaid for his part yreof 

John Brae for his part yreof 

The said John Brae for Dalnabroick 

John M'Kenzie for his part of Dalnabroick 

Fergus Shaw for his half yreof 

Alexander Bruce for hi« lands and Mylne of Pit- 

carmick... ... ... ■ 

John Bruce for Wester Pi tcarmick.. 

John Bruce for Tomnamone 

George Small for Dalreoch ... 

John Eviot for his part Wester Innerchroskie 

Alex. Spalding for his part yreof ... 

John Red-Go w for his part yreof 

Robert Fleming for his part Innerchroskie... 
Andrew Spalding for his part yreof. 
Lachlan M'Keich for his part yreof. 
Patrick Robertson for Glengennett & oyres 
I^itrick M*Kinto8h for Camuies 
Alex. Mackenzie for Taine ... 
Annaple Murray for Solzearie 





















































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Early History of Strathatdle. 


Earl <f Atholl for his Few-dewties ... 
Earl of Airlie for his Teynd-dewties 
Laird of Teyllin for his Few-dewties 






Dougall Stewart for Stragarrich 

Alex. M'Klachlan for his wadsett of Do. . . . 

Alex. Stewart fer Orqwhillbeg 

John Stewart of Orrard for Orqwhill 

Robert Robertson and his mother lyf renter for 


Duncan Robertson for Auchleeks & Belligowan 

Donald Robertson for Balnaeraig «fc Glenbirachane 

John Robertson for Lettoch ... 

Robert Fergussone for Pitfourie 

Fergus Fergussone for Balledmint ... 

Margorie Stewart for her lyfe-rent of the half of 

John Robertson for Crof tmichaoch ... 
Archibald Buttar for Pitlochrie, with the Mylne 
John Murray of Balnabroiche for his wadsett of 

Tombuy, Fandoch & Dalnagardine 
John Robertson fiar of Gilliehangie for Drumqubar 
Thomas Buttar for Killiemulzean ... 
David Murray for Croftinloane 
John Stewart for his wadsett of Lannoch ... 
David Rattray for his wadsett of Edradour 
James Stewart for Wester CI unie ... 
John Cunnisone for his wadsett of Ardgie . . . 
John Robertson for Easter Straloch 
Andrew Small for Dirnean ... 
Alex. Robertson for Wester Straloch 
Janet Robertson for her wadsett of Drumchorrie 

The half thereof belongs to the Earl of Atholl 
& is possest by him. 

Alex. M'Coull for Easter Kindrogan 

Alex. Fergussone for Bellizulein 

John Stewart for Balnakell ... 

Christian Robertson for her lyfe-rent of lands of 

Kinnaird ... ... ... :.. 

Earl of Atholl for his Few-dewties in this parish . . . 

£53 6 8 

53 6 8 

166 13 4 


66 13 

66 13 

133 6 



133 6 8 

66 13 4 
46 13 4 
63 6 8 
53 6 8 

26 13 


166 13 
53 6 



53 6 8 

90 .0 



37 4 4 


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Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mungo Murray the Earl's Brother for lands of 

Pittarich 80 

Laird of Balk j chin for his Few-dewties in this parish 37 4 4 
My Lord Dumferling for his Few-dewties of Balna- 

kellie 8 

John Monurieff for his wadsett of Ballindrone ... 86 6 

John Rorie for bis wadsett of Ballinlosane 50 

John Henderson for Tombarrie 24 

Donald Low for Croft M'Kinshank 45 

Christian Robertson for her lfye-rent of Easter 
Clunie '... 


Andrew Herring of Monkscallie 
David Herring for Monkscallie . . 
Sylvester Rattray for Nether Persie 
Lawrence Blair for Wester Drimniie 
Colin Campbell for Over Persie 

58 13 4 

£3917 11 

£101 16 4 

101 16 4 


476 13 4 



Robert Fergussone, Alex. Stewart, & John Robertson 

for Easter, Wester, & Middle Buttarstailles ... £90 
Robert Fergussone for his quarter of Blackcraigs .. . 18 

1651. — At this time Francis Piersone was parish minister 
of Kirkmichael. He joined the Protesters in this year, and 
united with them in forming a separate Presbytery; so also 
did the Rev. Robert Campbell of Moulin. 

1653. — Ecclesiastical affairs were in a very disturbed state 
now all over the country. The General Assembly met in July 
in Edinburgh, but Cromwell's soldiers surrounded the Assembly 
House, and Colonel Cotterel entering, told the assembled clergy 
that he had orders to dissolve them, and that unless they all 
followed him he would drag them out; so he marched them a 
mile out \>f town, and forbade them ever to meet again above 
three in number. 

Strathardle, as usual, had a full share of the disturbance, as 
Cromwell stationed a large force of his English soldiers at 
Kirkmichael, who would not allow Mr Piersone to preach, and 
who had many bloody skirmishes with tne natives. We are 
told in the Fasti Eccl. Scot. : — " There was no sermon in Kirk- 

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Eaily History of Strathard/e. 355 

michael from 18th Dec. 1653 to, 1st January 1654, in regard of 
the armies; and no sermon or collection on 8th January 1654, 
in regaird that in the midst of the sermone, the haill people 
were raised, because that some countrymen and sojers had 
fallen in blood/' The cause of this Sunday skirmish was that 
the officer in command of the English soldiers at Kirkmichael 
tried to carry off the bonniest young lassie in the strath, a 
daughter of the then tenant of the Davan farm. The English- 
man had met her before, and tried to make love to her, but 
she would have nothing to do with him, so on this Sunday, 
happening to see her father and several grown-up brothers 
going to kirk, he thought it a good chance to carry her off, so 
calling several of his men, he mounted his horse and set off 
for the Davan. They found her milking the cows, and seizing 
her, they tried to lift her on the horse in front of their leader; 
but she struggled desperately, and her screams soon brought 
her youngest brother, who was only a mere stripling, and some 
other young lads, who had been herding cattle, to assistance. 
These lads, having no arms, were of course no match for 
Cromwell's grim Ironsides, but they were brave and fearless, 
and they at once took to the natural weapons, of all boys, and 
began pelting the Englishmen with stones, and so true was their 
aim, and so nimble and active their movements, that the 
soldiers, who were only armed with swords, were forced to 
retreat. As the commander was struggling with the girl, her 
brother slipped up close in front, and striking the horse in the 
forehead with a stone, smashed its skull, and it fell dead. As 
the officer rolled over, his sword fell from his grasp, and before 
he could get disentangled, the boy seized the sword and slew 
him with one blow. The men at once fled, followed by the 
boys, who were soon joined by their neignoours as they went 
along by Kindrogan, and one by one the soldiers were over- 
taken and slain, so that only one of them reached the camp at 
Kirkmichael, where he at once gave the alarm, and his com- 
rades turned out and slew several of the pursuers; but the 
boys soon alarmed the worshippers in Kirkmichael Kirk, who 
poured out, and as there was a large congregation, and every 
man went fully armed then, and could use his weapons well, 
the fighting became desperate, and manv were slain on both 
sides around Kirkmichael Kirk, and, as we are so quaintly told 
in the " Fasti," There was no collection in the kirk that 

That night the Davan men buried the body of the English 
officer, in the very deep round hollow in the centre of the field 

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356 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

east from the Davan farm-house, which hollow is still called to 
this day, " Lag an t' Sassunnich" — the Englishman's hollow ; 
and I well remember, when a very small boy, hearing the 
harvesters, when cutting the corn in that hollow, tell the story 
of the Englishman who slept his long last sleep there, and ?t 
was always believed the corn grew greener and ranker above 
his grave. Next day the whole English force came to the 
Davan to carry away their commander's body for interment in 
Kirkmichael kirkyard, but so retired was this hollow, then in 
the midst of a thick wood, that they did not find the grave, 
and the good folks of the Davan did not wait to enlighten them, 
as they took to the hills, with all their cattle, on their approach. 
So, after burning all the houses, they returned to camp, leaving 
their commander to his quiet rest in " Lag an t' Sassunnich." 

1662. — Our reverend frieuds, Francis Piersone, minister of 
Kirkmichael, and Robert Campbell of Moulin, were again in 
trouble with the Government, and were deprived, by the Acts 
of Parliament of June 11th, and of the Privy Council of 
October 1st, 1662 ; and were accused in December of " still 
labouring to keep the hearts of the people from the present 
Government of "Church and State." Piersone was summoned 
again next year before the Privy Council, for disregarding the 
Act of Glasgow, but conformed, and was allowed to preach 

1663. — In July of this year the young Baron Ruadh, John 
VIII., married Magdalene Farquharson, youngest daughter of 
Robert Farquharson- of Invercauld, at Wardhouse in the 
Garioch, where that chief then lived. There were great rejoic- 
ings at the wedding, both in Braemar and in Strathardle, on 
their return, and as the bridegroom's father was still alive, and 
living at Balvarran House, the young couple took up their 
abode in Glenfernate, at Dalcharnich. The bride, as was usual 
on such occasions, was accompanied by some of her own clans- 
men, who settled in Glenfernate and Straloch, and who were 
the ancestors of the well-known Farquharsons of that district, 
who came of the family of Inverey. We read in the " Legends 
of the Braes o' Mar" that when Finlay Farquharson, the last 
laird of Inverey, was travelling, about the middle of last 
century, from Braemar to Edinburgh, with his son Benjamin, 
for his education, they lodged the first night with their friends, 
the Farquharsons of Straloch. 

Invercauld's daughter proved a most suitable and worthy 
wife for the Baron, as we are told in the history of the family : 
— " She was an excellent woman, endued with a great measure 

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Early History of Strathardle. 357 

of wisdom, piety, and prudence beyond many, which after- 
wards, under God, proved to be a great advantage to him and 
his family. She did within the compass of thirteen years 
bring forth five sons and as many daughters." And it was 
certainly a lady of wisdom and prudence that was required at 
the head of affairs then, as the fortunes of the family were at 
a very low ebb, owing to the very heavy fines imposed by 
Charles II. and his drunken Parliament upon all the families 
who had opposed his father, and of which the Baron got a full 
share, as we read in the family history : — " Hence it was that 
this drunken Parliament laid on exorbitant fines on all the 
families of any note in Scotland, except such as were members 
of that obsequious Parliament. When these fines came to be 
distributed amongst the favourites, the late Marquis of Atholl 
got the lines laid on his own vassals, and the Baron Reid of 
Straloch was forced to compound with him for a good sum of 
money. The Marquis also intended a process of improbation 
and reduction against him upon pretence of non-entries, defi- 
ciencies in payment of feu-duties, etc., and on these and other 
such like pretences, exacted another round sum of him." 

The first of these fines imposed upon the Baron amounted to 
£1000, a very large sum in those days, as I find from the 
"Acts of Scots Parliament," Vol. viii., page 426: — "Alex. 
Robertson of Easter Straloch, and Alex. Robertson of Dounie, 
did what in them lay to betray the King and Kingdom in the 
hands of the enemy, and did assist the murderer in his usurp- 
tion of the Royal Throne; and have thereby become obnoxious 
to the law and rendered themselves lyable to the pains of 
Treason, and other hie pains. Yet' his Majesty being desirous 
if it were possible to reclaim the worst of his subjects to their 
duty by Acts of mercy and grace hath therefore resolved to 
grant ane general Act of idemnity pardon and oblivion. But, 
considering that by these troubles and rebellious courses many 
of his good subjects have been under great suffering and lyable 
to great loss for their affection and loyaltie to His Majesty, for 
in order to their reparation His Majesty hath thought fit to 
burden his Pardon and Idemnitv to some (whose guiltiness hath 
rendered them obnoxious to the law, and their lives and for- 
tunes at His Majesties disposal) with the payment of some 
small sums; and in so far to except them from the benefit of 
His Majesties pardon. And therefore the King's Majesty with 
consent and advice of his Parliament hath thought fit, and 
accordingly doth hereby declare that, the persons after men- 
tioned each of them are exempted from His Majesties Pardon 

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358 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

and Idemnity, in so far as may concearn the payment of the 
sums underwritten: — Alexander Robertson of Easter Straloch, 
£1000 ; Alexander Robertson of Dounie, £600." 

We have already seen that the Baron's estate of Easter 
Straloch (or Balvarran) was then only valued at £240 a year, 
so that a fine of £1000 was over four years' whole rental — 
rather a stiff fine for taking the opposition side in the politics of 
the day ; so that it required all the business abilities and good 
management of his worthy wife to keep up the dignity of the 

Besides being such an excellent housekeeper, this lady was 
also a person of eminent and exemplary piety, and, like Joseph 
of old, she was " a dreamer of dreams," so much so indeed that, 
as many of her well-known dreams had actually come to pass 
years after, she came to be regarded in Strathardle as a regular 
prophetess; and in my boyish days many quaint old stories 
still lingered in the district about the wonderful dreams of "' A 
Bhantighearna Mharranach" — %i The Mar Lady" — as she was 
always called. 

Of these dreams, her son, the Rev. James Robertson, 
minister of Glengairn, has fortunately preserved a few in his 
history of the family, where he says : — *' I confess that dreams 
are commonly little to be regarded, as being mostly the effects 
of rovings of the imagnation or fancy while the other powers 
are asleep ; yet it cannot be denied that the Lord did frequently 
of old — and sometimes of late — reveal his will to his people 
by dreams. I confess that things of this nature are not to be 
laid stress on till the event prove the truth of them ; yet some 
things are extraordinary, and . had not mentioned the follow- 
ing passages if I had not been confident of the truth of them, 
as being one of those to whom she made them known immedi- 
ately after the* 7 happened. 

"In the summer 1681, she was visited with so much sore 
and dangerous sickness that Dr Kinloch, her physician, gave 
her up for lost, telling her husband that it was to no purpose 
any more trouble with men of his trade — but rather to provide 
for her funeral. She likewise had the same sentence of death 
within herself; but on that same night she was refreshed with 
some sleep, and dreamed that a reverend discreet man, who 
had often appeared to her before in her sleep, came to her and 
asked how she did. She answered — ' As it was, she was very 
ill and brought very low/ To which he answered — ' It is very 
true, and you and your friends think you are dying; but yet, 
I tell you, that you may yet live for fourteen years more ; but 

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Early History of Strathardle. 359 

when your old disease returns prepare yourself/ She replied — 
' How shall I know V He answered — ' You'll know by this 
token, viz., that little Katie (meaning her sister-in-law) will 
die within six months after her brother Sandy.' Both of them 
were alive an d in health at the time, and yet it is a matter of 
fact that Alexander within one-half year fell sick and died; 
and she observed to her friends that the first part of her dream 
had come to pass. ' Let us wait for the second part of it,' 
said she. She did not wish for Katie's death (a beautiful 
sweet lassie), but yet she could not help her thoughts of her 
approaching death, and so it fell out that soon after Alexander, 
her brother-in-law's death, Katherine fell ill of a disease, of 
which she died within nine months after; and it is true — the 
lady lived full fourteen years after, to June 1695. In March 
that year, after my return from St Andrews, I found her tied 
to her bed, as she had been for many years before, and there- 
fore I did not look for any sudden change, but she said to me — 
' Jemmie, I'll tell you news ; my warfare, glory to my God, will 
be shortly at an end; before the middle of June next, I shall 
be with Christ.' ' That will be your advantage, dear mother, 
said I, ' but our great loss. But how know you that V con- 
tinued I. She answered — ' You remember the dream I often 
told you about, wherein it was revealed to me that I might live 
fourteen years yet, but that when my old disease is returned 
again to prepare myself. The fourteen years are out in June 
next, and my old disease has returned, and God therefore warns 
me to prepare:' It fell out accordingly, for she died in June 

"About the beginning of Nov. 1685, some more than half- 
a-year after King James VII. had mounted the throne, she 
was very much concearned about the state of religion, and the 
fear of a growth of Popery under a Popish King. But one 
night she dreamed that Mr Francis Pierson, minister of the 
parish, and she, were standing together behind Balvarran 
House. That looking south-westward, they observed in the- air 
a glorious star, very beautiful to behold, and while the minister 
and she were delighted with the sight of it, to their surprize a 
cloud came and almost covered it from their sight; only the 
light and beams of it shone round the cloud. After the first 
cloud succeeded a second, and after that a third; and then, as 
she thought, the clouds blew all away, and the star approached 
nearer to them, and appeared a glorious lamp in a golden 
candlestick. This would have been a remarkable dream, and 
■easily understood of itself, but all the more so that it carried 

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360 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

its interpretation along with it; for the dream yet went on; 
and she thought she spoke to the minister, and said to him — 
' Mr Francis, this is a vision we have seen ; that star you have 
seen is the light of the Gospel and the cloud you saw is Popery, 
which will darken the Gospel light for some time in Scotland. 
The three clouds are three years wherein Popery will prevail; 
but as you observed that after the three clouds were over, the 
star came nearer to us than before, and shined more brightly — 
that signifies that after the three years are over, the light of 
the Gospel is to shine more brightly in Scotland than it has 
done for many years backward ; never more to be overshadowed 
by the cloud of Popery/ 

*' This remarkable dream she told us on the morrow after 
she had it; and after many steps had been taken to introduce 
Popery again, I said to her, ' What is become of your dream 
now?' She answered with some vehemency — ' Will you have 
some patience, and wait until the three years be past, and after 
that crop my ears if King James be not either dead or 

" I shall of many others but mention one passage more. 
In July, 1689, the countrv were mightily frightened with 
tidings that the "Viscount of .Dundee had raised a mighty army 
among the Highland clans to dethrone King William, and 
restore King James, and was on his march through Badenoch 
to invade Atholl, and was to burn and destroy all before him 
that would not join his army and take part with him. But the 
terror was increased when her husband had a letter from 
Dundee commanding him to be ready with all his fencible men 
in their best clothes and arms to join King James' forces at 
at Blair Castle on the 26th of July, under the pains of military, 
execution. The Baron and his friends and neighbours were in 
consternation, not knowing how to behave. He resolved not 
to join Dundee, be the event what it may, but was in great 
perplexity, minding that his father's whole bigging was burned 
by .another Graham (Montrose) in 1644, and knew not but he 
might happen to underga the same fate. While in this vexa- 
tion, she that very night dreamed that she was standing on the 
green west of her dwelling-house at Balvarran, and observed 
a terrible fiery dragon flying towards her from the west; and 
that balls of fire flew from him round about; and that some of 
them fell at her feet. At which being extremely terrified, she 
thought that her old friend, the reverend, grave man, stood by 
her side and said to her — 'You seem to be frightened at the 
sight of the fiery dragon; but look yonder and see a chain at 
his foot." 'Tis true, this dream did not carry its interpretation 

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Early History of Strathardle. 361 

with it as the last did, yet she understood it to signify Dundee 
with his barbarous army, and was at little more fear about him, 
but told us on the morrow that he would be suffered to do 
but little more harm, and none to her ; that there was a chain 
at his foot; and so it happened, for within a few days after, 
Ihindee was slain in the Battle of Killiecrankie, and his army 
was soon after disbanded, and she and her family got no harm. 
There was a chain at the dragon's foot, and a kind and power- 
ful Providence did hold the other end of it." 

Dundee seems to have, by his bravery and ability, terrified 
all his opponents — whether as the " Iain Dubh nan Cath" 
(Black John of the Battles) of the Highlands, the " Bonnie 
Dundee" of the Lowlands, or the " Bloody Clavers" of Galloway 
— and several instances are on record of his death being fore- 
told before Killiecrankie, one of which I may give here, as I 
often heard of it from old people in the district where it 
occurred, the bonnie parish of Anwoth, in Galloway, rendered 
classic by its connection with its saintly minister, the Rev. 
Samuel Rutherford, who many, many years after he had been 
driven out of it in the Covenanting times, and on his death 
bed, sang so sweetly of it : — 

" Fair Anwoth on the Solway, 
To me thou'rt ever dear, 
Even on the verge of heaven, 
For thee I drop a tear." 

I may add that I have since come across versions of the story 
in '* Woodrow's Analecta," vol. iii., p. 57; vol. v., p. 224. 

" A kind of prescience in a Scotch clergyman, Mr Michael 
Bruce, minister of Anwoth, in Kirkcudbrightshire, in 1689, 
very nearly approaching the second sight, is described thus: — 
On the day of the Battle of Killiecrankie, he preached m 
Anwoth, and the preface before his prayer, according to his 
usual mode of expressing himself, he began to this purpose : — 
' Some of you will say, What news minister 1 What news 
about Clavers, who has done so much mischief in this country? 
That man set up to be a young Montrose, but as the Lord 
liveth he shall be cut short this day. Be not afraid/ added he ; 
' I see them scattered and flying, and as the Lord liveth, and 
sends this message by me, Claverhouse shall no longer be a 
terror to God's people — this day I see him killed — lying a 
corpse/ That very day, about the same time, he was actuallv 

Now as Claverhouse had persecuted the Anwoth people 
very much, and as several of the parishioners had lately 

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362 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

suffered martyrdom, being shot in cold blood on their hills, 
and lay Duried at the end of the church, it may be imagined 
what hold this announcement took on their minds, especially 
after they heard that the prophecy was literally fulfilled, and 
that Dundee had fallen that day at Killiecrankie. 

1665. — At this time, David Spalding, only brother to the 
Laird of Ashintully, married Margaret, daughter of Baron 
John VII. of Straloch, and bought the estates of Whitehouse 
and Morcloich, or Whitefield Castle, from Ashintully. On his 
death, he left the latter estate to his eldest son, Charles, and the 
former to his second son, David. 

1668. — John Fergusson of Dounie was served heir to his 
father, Robert, as we read in the '* Records of the Clan 
Fersrusson," page 46 : — " The portion of the barony of Downy 
in Strathardle consisted of the lands of Over Downie, Middle 
Downie, Borland, Edmarnothy, Cuttalonie, Stronna-muic, part 
of Pitbrane, and of Glengennett (now Glen Derby). The 
remainder of the barony was in Glenshee, and comprised Fin- 
negand, Inveredrie, Bynan Mor, Bynan Beg, Redorach, Kerrow, 
Cuthill, Dalmonzie, and part of Glenbeg, all of which then 
belonged to the Clan Fergusson. 

1669. — The lands of Dalnagairn, beside Kirkmichael, at this 
time belonged to the Earl of Atholl, and as that nobleman was 
very anxious to extend his influence in Strathardle, we find him 
applying for and obtaining a special Act of Parliament for 
holding a yearly free fair on Dalnagairn. This Act is pre- 
served in the Scots Acts of Parliament, vol. vii., page 570 : — 

" Act in favour of John, Earl of Atholl, for a yeerhe fair 
at Dalgarnes. 

26. The Kings Maiestie and Estates of Parliament, Taking 
into their consideration that the toun and lands of Dalgarnes 
within the Barronie of Dounie, and Sheriffdome of Perth, per- 
teaning hehetablie to Johne Earle of Atholl, is a place far 
distant from any burgh or mercat toun, and most conveinent 
and commodious for the ease and benefite of his Maiesties leidges 
for buying and selling of bestiall and other commodities if it had 
the liberty of a yeerlie fair to be keepit thereat. Thairfor the 
King's Maiestie with advice and consent of his Estates of Pari. 
Doe heirby Give and Grant to the said Earl of Atholl, his airs 
and successors, ane yeerlie frie fair to be holden and keepit at 
Dalgarnes upon the tuenty-nynt day of September yeerly in all 
tyme coming for buying and selling of horse, nolt, sheip, meill, 
malt, oats and all sort of grain ; cloath, linen, and woollen, and 
all sort of merchant comodities, with power to the said Earle 
and his forsaids, or such as they shall appoint, To collect intro- 

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^U* 1 ^ 

Early History of Strathardle. 363 

met with and uptake the tolls, customs,, and duties belonging 
to the said fair; And to enjoy all other freedoms, liberties, privi- 
lidges, and immunities siclyk and als freely as any other has 
done or may doe in the lyk cace." 

1672. — The Earl of Atholl acquired the Fergusson lands in 
the Barony of Dounie and Glenshee at this time, as we read in 
the "Clan Ferguson Kecords, page 46: — "From a charter, 
confirmed by Parliament in 1672, the lands of Downy appear 
among the Atholl estates, as having been acquired upon the 
resignation of John Fergusson of Downy." 

This Act, which I find recorded in the " Scots Acts," vol. 
viii., page 103, also includes some other Strathardle lands theri 
held by Atholl : — " In lyke manner the toune and lands of 
Wester Callies — the toun and }ands of Blackecraige and croft 
thereof with the mylne and mylnelands — the lands of Black- 
ghines and Drum frog — All and haill the lands of Bleaton Halyt, 
with tennants, tennandries, service of free tenants, pairts and 
pendicles thereof — And sicklyke all and haill the lands and 
barronie of Downy, viz. — Over Downie, Middle Downie, Bor- 
land, Ednarnachtie, Cuttalonie, Stronamuck, ffenzie (Finnegand) 
and Inneredrie with the mylne, Bennanmore, Bennanbeg, Rand- 
anoyak, Kerrache, Cuthill, Ballinbeg, Dalmuge, with the pairts 
of Pitbrane, Glengaisnett, and Glenbeg with the pertinents of 
the same whatever." 

It will be noticed that the spelling of Finnegand in this Act 
is contracted to " ffenzie," clearly a clerical error, as in. all Fer- 
gusson charters, when it belonged to them, it is spelt 
" Fanzeand," in Gaelic " Feith-nan-ceann" — the ravine or bog 
of the heads — and Dr Marshall, in his " Historic Scenes in 
Perthshire," tells us how it got that name, as follows : — " A 
race of the name of Campbell were once lords superior of Glen- 
shee, and did indeed lord it over their less powerful neighbours, 
as well as their own immediate retainers. It is said that they 
made the circuit of the glen once a year for the purpose of 
exacting tribute. Bells were attached to the heads of the 
horses, that when the tinkling was heard the oppressed people 
might bring out the exactions demanded of them, without any 
trouble to the receivers. By and by the spirit of the spoiled 
was roused to resistance and retaliation ; and so the legend goes, 
that James Stewart of Drumforkit, with twelve gallant fellows, 
instead of bringing out their tribute, made a fierce onslaught on 
the Campbells, and, after getting the mastery of them, cut off 
their heads, and rolled them into a burn or boggy place, thence- 
forth named Feith-nan-Ceann." 

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364 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

This Campbell oppression of Glenshee was the work of that 
mischief-maker, Campbell of Persie, who got the lower part of 
Glenshee from his father, Donald Campbell, last Abbot of 
Cupar Abbey, and youngest son of Archibald, second Earl of 
Argyll, and of whom I have already had to tell so often of the 
many evils he brought on Strathardle, Glnshee, and Glenisla; 
and here, as usual, he was backed up by his cousin, Argyll, and 
his old allies, Breadalbane and Glenlyon, till this skirmish put 
an effectual stop to their gathering of tribute in Glenshee. 

In connection with this tradition, I may add that I always 
heard that the .Glenshee men removed the tinkling bells from 
the horses, and attached them to the heads of the Campbells 
before they rolled them down the hill into the bog, and they 
vied with each other who could send the rolling head and tink- 
ling bell the furthest, and such sweet music did this prove to 
old Drumforkit, that he turned to his piper and said — " Cha 'n 
'eil ceol cho binn 'ri sin na d' phiob" — " There is not such sweet 
music as that in your pipe." The old piper at once thought he 
would try and see, and blew up his pipe, and as he well knew 
the grand old Atholl piobroch, " Cluig Pheirt"—" The Bells of 
Perth" — which was composed long before by the Earl of Atholl's 
piper, on the occasion of his marching north with his Lordship 
from Perth to Atholl, and hearing the mellow tones of Perth 
bells, on a quiet summer evening, miles away up near Dunkeld ; 
so the Glenshee piper composed a new version of this old tune, 
the words beginning: — 

" Cluig Pheirt, 

'S cluig Pharsaidh, 

'S cluig Mhic Chailein Mhoir." 

" The bells of Perth, 

And the bells of Persie, 

And the bells of Mac Cailein Mor." 

Mac Cailein Mor, of course, is the Gaelic patronymic of the 

1678. — In this year the Earl of Atholl, and all the fighting 
men of Atholl and Strathardle, under their respective chiefs, 
both Royalist and Covenanting, formed part of the Highland 
Host, which was sent by the Government to overawe and to 
burn arid plunder the Covenanters of the south-west of Scot- 
land. In Browne's " History of the Highlands," page 335, we 
read : — " The Highlanders did not concern themselves with 
these theological disputes, and they did not hesitate when their 

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Early History of Strathardle. 365 

chiefs, at the call of the Government, required their services to 
march to the Lowlands to suppress the disturbances in the 
western counties- Accordingly, an army of about 8000 men, 
known in Scottish history as the ' Highland Host/ descended 
from the mountains, under the command of their respective 
chiefs, and encamped at Stirling on the 24th of June, 1678, 
whence they spread themselves over Clydesdale, Renfrew, 
Cunningham, Kyle and Carrick, and overawed the Whigs so 
effectually that they did not attempt to oppose the Government 
during the stay of these hardy mountaineers among them. 
According to Wodrow and J^irkton, the Highlanders were 
guilty of great oppression and cruelty, but they kept their 
hands free from blood, as it has been correctly stated that not 
one Whig lost ins life during the invasion of these Highland 
crusaders. After remaining about eight months in the Low- 
lands, the Highlanders were sent home, the Government having 
no further occasion for their services, but before their departure 
they took care to carry along with them a large quantity of 
plunder they had collected during their stay/' 

Kirkton also tells us, page 390: — "But when this goodly 
army retreated homeward, you would have thought by the.r 
baggage they had been at the sack of a beseiged city; and, 
therefore, when they passed Stirling bridge, every man drew his 
sword to show the world they had returned conquerors from 
their enemies' land; but they might as well have shown the 
pots, pans, gridles, shoes taken off countrymen's feet, and other 
bodily and household furniture with which they were burdened ; 
and among all none purchased so well as the Earl of Strath- 
more, who sent home the money, not in purses, but in bags, 
and great quantities." 

In reading the accounts of the Lowland historians of this 
period in regard to the Highland Host, it is difficult to say 
which of them write most bitterly against the Highlanders. 
Perhaps they have reason. Granted that some of them even 
did go to extremes, even then they only obeyed their 
Sovereign's commands, and acted up to the orders their chiefs 
gave them, and to .the purpose for which they were sent there. 
But it is very gratifying to find that here, as usual, the Atholl 
and Strathardle men showed themselves superior to their neigh- 
bours, in not being common plunderers, lifting all before them 
from the country people, even though they were sent there for 
that purpose. My proof of this comes from a very unlikely, 
but most reliable, source, Woodrow's "History of the Kirk of 
Scotland," in which we read, as quoted in General Stewart of 

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366 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Garth's "Highlanders," Vol. II., Appendix XXXJX:— "Even 
in the seventeenth century less atrocity was shown by the 
Highlanders than has been exhibited by enlightened nations of 
modern times, when living at free quarters in an enemy's 
country. Spain, Portugal, Germany, Russia, Italy, and Egypt 
have ample reason to remember the murders and conflagrations 
and spoliation of the armies of France. The following state- 
ments show the manner in which the Highlanders comported 
themselves when ordered from their mountains for the special 
purpose of keeping down the Republican spirit in the south- 
west of Scotland, and of living at free quarters on the Coven- 
anters and others inimical to the measures of Government. 
This was in 1678, when the Highland Host, of 8000 men, 
were ordered south to * eat up' the Covenanters. In what 
manner they obeyed these instructions we learn from an eye- 
witness, whose account is preserved in the Advocates' Library. 
This writer, who evinces no friendship for this ' Heathen and 
ungodly Host/ describes their parties sent out for provisions, 
and the sufferings of the inhabitants, who were beaten and 
driven out of their houses if they refused to give what they 
demanded. After a detail of outrages, which, indeed, were to 
be expected, as it was for this very purpose that they were sent 
on the duty, he concludes in a manner hardly to be expected: 
— l Yet I hear not of any having been killed, though many 
were hurt; but I would not have you think that all the High- 
landers behave after the same manner. No, there is a differ- 
ence both among the men and the leaders. The Marquis of 
Atholl's men are generally commended, both as the best 
appointed and the best behaved.' " 

The Strathardle men wno went with Atholl in the Highland 
Host were under the command of Baron John VII. of Straloch, 
as we read in the family history: — "In 1678 he was com- 
manded to join the Marquis of Atholl in marching with the 
Highland Host, under pretence to reform, but really to exas- 
perate, the honest people in the western shires of Scotland. 
There and then he had occasion to see and converse with a 
cadet of his family — Reid of Ballochmile." 

1681. — By a special Act of Parliament of this year, I find 
the Barony of Ashintully conformed to David Spalding, grant- 
ing him many privileges, against which the Marquis of Atholl 

1685. — In this year, the great feud which for ages had 
raged between the men of Atholl and Argyll Eliminated in a 
great raid by the Atholl men, under Stewart of Ballechin, into 

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Early History of Strathardle. 367 

Argyll, where they committed terrible slaughter and havoc, and 
left the whole district a wilderness, and amply repaid all old 
scores against the Campbells. 

When Archibald, ninth Earl of Argyll, arrived in his own 
country, on the death of King Charles II., and raised 2500 of 
his clansmen in revolt against King James, the Marquis of 
Atholl and Lord Charles Murray raised 1500 Atholl men and 
marched to Dunbarton, and intercepted Argyll on his march 
from Inveraray to the Lowlands. On finding himself opposed, 
Argyll deserted his men, and, disguising iximself, tried to make 
his way back to Argyll, but was taken prisoner, carried to 
Edinburgh, and soon after beheaded. At the same time, 
Atholl sent Ballechin with a strong force to plunder ArgylL 
General Stewart of Garth tells us, Vol. I., page 42 : — " The 
endless feuds between the Argyll and Atholl men assisted in 
preserving the military spirit and the use of arms. In the 
charter-chest of Stewart of Ballechin there is a commission to 
his ancestor, the Laird of Ballechin, from the Marquis of Atholl, 
dated in 1685, authorising him to march with a strong body of 
Atholl men into Argyllshire, and to take and- keep possession of 
the property of their rivals. In what spirit these orders were 
carried into effect will appear from the circumstance that 
eighteen gentlemen of the name of Campbell were executed 
at Inverary. The commission granted to Ballechin is highly 
characteristic of the times. It prescribes all the intended 
operations and proposed conquests with an air of authority 
resembling the solemnity of a royal mandate." 

The General adds, in a note : — " This melancholy instance 
of the fierceness of feudal animosities is said to have been occa- 
sioned by the accidental discovery of a counter plot or con- 
spiracy to destroy the invaders, whose indignation on the 
disclosure was not to be controlled. The feelings consequent on 
the remembrance of former rivalry, thus rekindled and inflamed, 
were checked by the prudence and authority of Ballechin, 
Flemying of Moness, Stewart of Dalguise, and other com- 
manders of the expedition, otherwise many more lives would 
have been lost." 

In the " Annals of Perth, " page 328, we are told : — " In the 
Western Highlands the Marquis of Atholl exerted . himself as 
the minister of vengeance, and exercised great severity upon the 
inhabitants. The houses of the peasantry upon Argyll's estate 
were burnt; the wood, mills, and gardens destroyed; the fish- 
ing boats and nets of the starving inhabitants torn to pieces; 
and the jails filled with prisoners, who, if not hurried to instant 
execution, were left to linger out life in circumstances of want 
and misery." 

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368 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Now, it is pleasant to know that though the men of Strath- 
ardle were present in great force along with the Atholl men on 
this expedition, yet they did not take part in the savage work 
of slaughter and pillage here described. The leader of the 
Strathardle men on this occasion was Baron John VIII. of 
Straloch, and the following is the account given in the family 
history of the part he took in this memorable raid : — " It is 
true, by reason of his lady's indisposition, he excused himself 
in 1678 from going (with his father) upon the wicked expedi- 
tion of the Highland Host sent to destrov the western shires; 
nor did he think it good to go to Bothwell Bridge next year. 
Yet he could not shun going to Argyllshire in 1685, against the 
Earl of that name. But though he obeyed in going, and saw 
great havoc done by his countrymen, in robbing and destroying 
the country, yet he took special care of his men, and suffered 
none of them to do any harm or carry anything home with them 
but lawful purchase." 

25th MARCH, 1897. 

On this date a general meeting of the Society was held, and, 
after some discussion, it was resolved to contribute to the prize 
fund of the Mod a special prize of £5 5s, for the best essay on 
" The Peculiarities of Gaelic as spoken in the Writer's District" 
— the papers to become the property of the Society. At this 
meeting, also, Mr Charles Mackinnon, of Messrs Howden & Co., 
and Mr John Mackintosh, solicitor, Inverness, were elected 
ordinary members of the Society. 

Ut APRIL, 1897. 

At the meeting this evening the Assistant Secretary read a 
paper in Gaelic, contributed by Rev. John MacRury, Snizort, 
entitled " Seana Bheachdan agus Seana Chleachdaidhean." The 
paper was as follows: — 

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Seana Bheachdan agus Seana Chleachdaidhean. 369 


No. I. 

Anns an aimsir a dh ; fhalbh, bha iomadh beachd ai;us 
cleachdadh aig an t-sluagh do nach toir sluagh an latha n 
diugh geill sam bith. Tha sluagh an latha 'n diugh 'g am 
nieas fhein anabarrach glic, turail, tuigseach, ann an coimeas 
ris an t-sluagh a bh' ann ; s an aimsir a dh' fhalbh. Gun 
teagamh sam bith, tha moran edlais agus fiosrachaidh aig daoine 
anns gach inbhe air an latha 'n diugh, nach robh aig daoine *s 
an t-seann aimsir. Tha eblas is fiosrachadh a sior mheud- 
achadh, mar a tha 'n saoghal a' fas ni 's sine. Ach ged a tha 
so fior gu leor, gidheadh, cha ; n 'eil e aon chuid glic no ceart do 
dhaoine a bhith 'labhairt le fanaid agus le tair mu thimchioll 
nam beachdan agus nan cleachdaidhean a bh' aig sluagh na 
Gaidhealtachd anns na linntean a dh' fhalbh. Duine sam bith 
a bheir fa near le curam na bheil air chuimhne de na beachdan, 
agus de na cleachdaidhean a bha cumanta am measg nan 
Gaidheal 's an am a dh' fhalbh, aidichidh e gu saor, soilleir, 
gu'n robh iad, ann an iomadh doigh, fad air thoiseach ann an 
tuigse, agus ann an tur nadair, air an aireamh a's mo de n 
t-sluagh a tha 'n diugh beo. Tha mi 'creidsinn gu'm bheil 
iomadh Gaidheal agus Gall anns an duthaich a theireadh, nan 
cluinneadh iad mi ag radh so, nach 'eil moran de thiir no de 
thuigse annam fhein, an uair a theirinn a leithid so. Ach is 
e 'theirinnsa riutha so, gu'm biodh iad a dh' atharrachadh 
beachd, na n tugadh iad fa 'near a' chuis le aire agus le curam. 
C'aite am faighear fear air an latha 'n diugh am measg nan 
daoine a tha 'gam meas fhein ni 's glice s ni 's gleusda 's ni s 
foghluimte na na daoine a dh' fhalbh, a labhras briathran anns 
am bheil a leith uiread de ghliocas 's a th' anns na sean- 
fhacail? Cha 'n aithne dhomhsa, air a h-aon, c'aite am faighear 
iad, Neo-ar-thaing nach 'eil daoine beulach, briathrach, abarta, 
ri am faotainn ann am pailteas; ach mar a's trice, is e fior 
bheagan gliocais is fiosrachaidh a gheibhear 'n an cainnt. 

Tha moran de na beachdan agus de na cleachdaidhean a bha 
cumanta am measg an t-sluaigh 's an am a dh' fhalbh, air am 
meas aig an am so le moran dhaoine mar shaobh-chreideamh. 
Tha iad ag amharc sios le tair air gach beachd agus cleachdaah 
ris an abrar " saobh-chreideamh/' Ma bheirear droch ainm 
air cii, leanaidh e ris. Tha mi ag aideachadh gu'm faod gach 
uile sheana bheachd aeiis sheana chleachdadh a bhith air am 
^ 24 

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370 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

meas mar " shaobh-chreideamh" leis na h-uile nach d' thug 
riamh fa "near, gu'm bheil teagasgan cudthromach ann an co- 
cheangal dluth ris gach beachd agus cleachdadh a bha n sluagh 
ag arach 's an am a dh' fhalbh. Ach ma dh' fheuchas sinn ri 
amharc air na beachdan 's air na cleachdaidhean so anns an 
t-sealladh anns an robh na daoine glice, turail a bh' ann o 
shean ag amharc orra, cha bhi e an comas dhuinn a radii le 
firinn nach 'eil annta ach " saobh-chreideamh." A reir mo 
bharail-sa, cha choir dhuinn " saobh-chreideamh " a radh ri 
beachd no ri cleachdadh sam bith a bha air arach 's an am 
a dh' fhalbh le seann daoine glice, a chum teagasg f eumail a 
thoirt do 'n mhuinntir a bha 6g, agus a bha gu nadarra gle 
aineolach air iomadh ni a bhiodh feumail dhaibh 'fhoghlum, a 
chum gu'm fasadh iad glic, tuigseach, faicleach, curamach dean- 
adach, agus gu'n seachnadh iad cleachdaidhean agus uilc a 
dh' fhaodadh cunnartan is trioblaidean lionmhor a chur 'n an 
rathad. Bheir mi 'nis oidhirp air a dhearbhadh dhuibh gur 
ann a chum teagasgan matha 'thoirt do dhaoine 6ga a bha na 
seana bheachdan 's na seana chleachdaidhean air tus air an 
sparradh air an t-sluagh, agus air an eumail suas o hnn gu linn. 

Anns an am a dh fhalbh bha e air a mheas mar ghnothach 
narach, tamailteach do dh' fhear sam bith lamh a chur ann an 
obair sam bith a bha mnathan a' cleachdadh a bhith 'deanamh. 
Bha 'h-obair fhein aig a' mhnaoi, agus 'obair fhein aig an fhear. 
B' e obair an fhir a bhith gu treun, duineil a' saoithreachadh, 
air muir 's air tir, a chum biadh is aodach is caiseart a chumail 
ris fhein 's ri 'theaghlach. Agus b' e obair na mna gach ni a 
bhuineadh do 'n taigh a chumail an ordugh. Dh' fheumadh i 
am biadh a dheasachadh; na leapannan a charadh; an crodh 
a bhleodhan; an t-im 's an caise a dheanamh; na laoigh a 
bhiathadh ; a' chloimh a chireadh 's a chardadh 's a shniomh ; 
an clo a luadh; na stocainnean fhigheadh 's a charadh; agus 
mar sin sios. Cha chuireadh fear sam bith aig am biodh a. r 
bheag de mheas air fhein a lamh fo mhart gus a bleodhan, no 
idir ann an im no 'n gruth; agus mu dheidhinn suidh air 
beairt-fhighe, is i an obair mu dheireadh anns an cuireadh e 
lamh. Bha leithid de dhimeas air na breabadairean 's gu'm 
bu ghnath le daoine, an uair a bhiodh iad a' bruidhinn air breab- 
adair, a radh, " Breabadair, le cead na cuideachd." Am fear a 
bhiodh trie a! deanamh obair nam ban, cha 'n fhaigheadh e 
ainm a V fhearr na " an ciorachan. ,, Is e, " an ciorachan, ,, an 
t-ainm a bh' air a' chliabh-bheag, no air a' bhalg, anns am 
biodh a' chloimh aig na mnathan ri taobh an teine, an uair a 
bhiodh iad ; n an suidhe a! cardadh. Bu ghnothach tamailteach 

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Seana Bheachdan agus Seana Chleachdaidhean. 371 

a dh' fhear tapaidh sam bith gu'm biodh e ri radh m' a 
dheidhinn gu'm bu ghnath leis a bhith ann an oir na luathadh. 

An uair a bhiodh na mnathan a' fuinne, bha e air a 
thoirmeasg dhaibh a bhith. 'gabhail oran. Agus bha e air a 
radh, agus air a chreidsinn, gu'n tigeadh mi-fhortan mor air 
choireigin an rathad a h-uile boirionneach a bhiodh a' gabhail 
oran an am a bhith fuinne. Faodaidh gu 'n cuir 
so ioghnadh air iomadh neach aig am bheil fios gu'n robh guth 
binn gu gabhail oran 'na ni air an robh meas mor aig daoine 
anns an am ud. Tha iomadh dearbhadh againn o na bheil air 
chuimhne de na seann orain, gu'n robh meas mor air gach 
nighinn dig aig an robh deadh ghuth. An am a bhith luadh 
nan cloidhnean, b' iad na nigheanan 6ga aig an robh deadh 
ghuth, agus a ghabhadh na h-orain gu sunndach, binn, bu trice 
a gheibheadh cuireadh gus a dhol a luadh. Tha beagan de 
sheann oran luaidh a tha dearbhadh gu'n robh meas air an te a 
ghabhadh oran, air tighinn gu m' chuimhne. So agaibh e : — 

" Hoirionn ho gu, otho eileadh, 

Ho i u o, ho i eileadh, 

Hoirionn ho gu, otho eileadh, 
'S ard a chluinntear fuaim na cleithe, 

rLoirionn ho gu, etc. 
'S binn guth cinn mo leannain fhein ann, 

Hoirionn ho gu, etc., 
'De ge binn gur fhearr a beusan." 

Tha 'cheart ni againn ann an ceathramh de na h-6rain a 
rinn Eobhain Mac Lachlain : — 

" Tha 'n uiseag 's an smeorach 

Feadh lointean nan driuchd, 
'Toirt failte le oran 

Do 'n 6g mhadainn chiuin ; 
Tha 'n uiseag neo-sheblta, 

'S an smeorach gun sunnd, 
'Nuair thoisicheas m' fheudail 

Ri gleusadh a ciuil." 

A nis, air do 'n chuis a bhith mar so, is i 'cheisd, c'ar son a 
bha e air a thoirmeasg do na mnathan a bhith 'gabhail oran an 
am dhaibh a bhith 'fuinne? Bha 'n t-aobhar ion-mholta, cha 
b' ann a mhain 'n an sealladh-san a thoirmisg an toiseach e, 
ach mar an ceudna ann an sealladh nan uile a thug fa 'near e. 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 

372 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

An uair a bheir sinn fhein fa 'near e, aontaichidh sinn uile gu'n 
robh aobhar gle shonraichte air a shon. 

An uair a thoisicheas bean ri fuinne, is ann mar a's cabhag- 
aiche a thaosnas i an t-aran is fhearr e. Agus an uair a tha i 
gle thrang a' fuinne, ma thoisicheas i ri gabhail oran, f aodar a 
bhith cinnteach, gu'n tuit boinne is boinne de 'n t-seile as a 
beul anns a' cmar-fhuinna Nam faiceadh a h-aon dinn delu- 
de 'n t-seile a 7 tuiteam air an aran, cha bhiomaid deonach 
greim dhe itheadh, eadhon ged a b' i a' bhean-fhuinne an aon 
bhoirionnach bu tlachdmhoire leinn beo. B' ann, ma ta, 
a chum gu'm biodh an t-aran air 'fhuinne gu cabhagach agus 
gu glan, a thoirmisgeadh do na mnathan a bhith 'gabhail bran 
an am dhaibh a bhith fuinne. 

Bha e mar an ceudna air a .thoirmeasg do na mnathan an 
fhallaid a dh' fhagadh iad air a' chlar-fhuinne a chur air ais 
. do 'n chiste-mhine. Gus an cumail q so a dheanamh, bha e air 
a radh riutha, nach biodh a' mhin cho torach 's bu choir dhi a 
bhith. Bha e eadhon air a radh, nach maireadh a' mhin leith 
na h-uine, nan cuirteadh an fhallaid air ais do 'n c&iste-nihine a 
h-uile uair a dheanteadh fuinne. Direach mar a bha a' bhean- 
fhuinne air a cumail o ghabhail oran air eagal gu'n tugadh i 
mi-fhortan oirre fhein, bha i mar an ceudna air a cumail o chur 
na fallaid air ais do 'n chiste-mhine, air eagal gu'm biodh a' 
mhin ro dhiomain. 

A chum gu'n tuig gach neach an t-aobhar air son gu'n robh 
e air a thoirmeasg an fhallaid a chur air ais do 'n chiste-mhine, 
feumaidh mi beagan a radh mu'n fhallaid. Is i an fhallaid, a' 
mhin a bhithear a' suathadh ris an uibe thaoise, an am a bhith 
'g a leanachadh, no 'g a th.anach.adh 'na bhreacaig. An uair a 
tha 'n taois air a taosnadh gu math, tha i air a deanamh 'na 
h-uibe. Tha 'n t-uibe coltach ri muillean-siucair — cruinn mu'n 
bhonn, agus a sior fhas biorach gu 'bharr. An uair a tha 
'bhean-fhuinne 'toiseachadh ri' leanachadh an uibe thaoise, tha 
i 'cur Ian no dha a duirn de 'n m h in fodha air a' chlar. Mar a 
tha i 'ga leanachadh, tha i an drasta 's a rithist a' cur na mine 
air 'uachdar, agus 'g a suathadh ris, gus am bi aig a' bhreacaig 
na ghabhas i air gach taobh dhe 'n mhin. A nis, an uair a tha 
'n fhuinne ullamh, tha faisg air na dheanadh breacag de mhin 
air a' chlar-fhuinne. Tha mhin so tais; oir bha i 'tarruinn 
beagan de 'n uisge as an taois an am a bhith 'deanamh na 
fuinne. A bharrachd air sin, tha beagan de 'n taois air a feadh. 
Nan cuirteadh a' mhin so — an fhallaid — air ais do 'n chiste- 
mhine bheireadh i air cuid de 'n mhin eile bias goirt a ghabhail, 
agus dh' fhasadh na cnapan taoise cruaidh. An ath uair a 

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Seana Bheachdan agus Seana Chleachdaidhean. 373 

theannteadh ri fuinne, bhiodh na cnapan cruaidhe, taoise so anns 
an aran, agus, mar a tha furasda gu ledr dhuinn a thuigsinn, 
cha bhiodh bias mo buantas air an arani An aite a' mhin a 
chur air ais do 'n chiste, dheanadh a 7 bhean-fhuinne " bonnach- 
boise" de na bhiodh a dh' fhallaid air a' chlar. Theirteadh 
" bonnach-boise," ris a chionn gu'n robh e air a leanachadh 
eadar a basan, an aite bhith air a leanachadh air a! chlar. 
Cha bhiodh fallaid idir air. Tha againn an so eachdraidh an 
t-sean-fhacail, " Bonnach deireadh-fuinne nam ban, b' e sid an 
geinneanach tiugh." 

Tha e air aithris gu'm bu trie leis na mnathan-fuinne cnap 
math de n im a chur anns a' " bhonnach deireadh-fuinne," agus 
bheir mi dhuibh an sgeul beag a leanas mar dhearbhadh air 
firinn na cuise so. 

Bha leith-linn (idiot) ann an aite araidh de 'n Ghaidhealt- 
achd, a bhiodh gu trie a' falbh o thaigh gu taigh, agus o bhaile 
gu baile, feuch ciod a gheibheadh. e ri itheadh; oir, aig an am 
ud cha robh Lagh nam bochd air a dheanamh. Air latha 
araidh chaidh e do thaigh anns a' bhaile. An uair a chaidh e 
steacti dh' fhairich e faileadh a chord ri chaileachd anabarrach 
math. Chunnaic e " bonnach-boise " ris an lie, agus dh' 
aithnich e gur ann. as a' bhonnach a bha am faileadh. An uair 
a thuig e nach robh. duine staigh, sguab e leis am bonnach 'na 
achlais, agus thug e an dorus air. An uine ghoirid na dheigh 
sin rinn e bran do 'n bhonnach. So ceathramh dheth : — 

" Am bonnach a bh' aig Mairereid, 

Gu'm b' e sid an soireineach; 
'N uair a thug mi learn e, 

Bha punnd 'na mo sporran ann ; 
Is mise 'bha gu h-eutrom; 

Gur h-eibhinn chaidh an t-earrach learn ; 
? N uair ghabh mi mo dheadh dhinneir, 

Bha im agus aran agam." 

An uair a tha an t-aran air a bhruich, tha taobh ceart agus 
taobh cearr air; no, ann am briathran eile, tha beulaobh is 
culaobh air. Is e beulaobh an arain, an taobh a bhruichear an 
toiseach dheth. Tha teas an teine a? toirt copan air a! cheud 
thaobh a bhruichear dheth. Agus an deis a thionndadh ris an 
lic-bhonnach gus a chulaobh a bhruich, tha pairt de 'n chopan 
so al fuireach air. A nis, an am a bhith 'cur an arain air a' 
bhord, bha e air a thoirmeasg gu mor a chiil a chur as a chionn 
air an trinnsear. Agus a chum nach deanteadh so bha e air 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 

374 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

a radh le seann daoine glice, gun tigeadh mi-fhortan a thaobh- 
eiginn air te sam bith a chuireadh, aon chuid le mi-shuim, no 
d" a debin, col an arain os a chionn. Ach nam biodh fhios aig 
an te a bhiodh a' cur a' bhidh air a' bhord gun robh iadsan a bha 
7 dol gf a itheadh ann an cunnart, bha e mar fhiachan oirre cul 
an arain a char os a chionn a chum an cur n am faireachadh. 
Mar dhearbhadh air so innsidh mi an sgeul a leanas : — 

Anna na linntean a dh' fhalbh, mar a chuala sinn uile, bha 
rpbairean gu math lionmhor ann an iomadh aite air f eadh na 
rioghachd. Cha robh garbh-chriochan na Gaidhealtachd falamh 
dhiubh. Bha aon aite gle uaigneach anns a Ghaidhealtaclid 
anns am biodh iad gu math trie a 7 spuinneadh gach duine a 
b' fhiach an t-saothair air am faigheadh iad greim. Bha taigh 
bsda faisg air an aite so, agus a reir choltais gu n robh 
fear an taigh'-osda ann an comunn riutha. B' e chuid-san 
de 'n obair fios fhaotainn, nam V urrainn da, an robh sporran 
math, trom aig na daoine a bhiodh a' cur seachad oidhche anns 
an taigh-osda, an am dhaibh a bhith air an ais 's air an aghart 
eadar Galldachd is Gaidhealtachd. Air feasgar araidh mu 
mheadhain an fhoghair rainig duine bg air an robh coltas 
calma, tapaidh, an taigh-osda. Thachair fear an taigh'-osda 
ris aig an dorus, agus bhruidhinn e ris gu. faoiUdh, siobhalta, 
modhail, mar bu ghnath leis bruidhinn ris gach aon air am 
faiceadh e coltas math. Chuir iad seachad na bha rompa dhe 
^n fheasgar agus dhe 'n oidhche gu am cadail a' cbmhradh ri' 
cheile anns an t-sebmar a b' fhearr a bha 'staigh. Ged a bha n 
duine 6g comhraiteach gu lebr, cha bu duine e a leigeadh 'inntinn 
ris do neach sam bith, gus am fasadh e gu math eblach air. Ach 
leis cho comhraiteach 's cho suilbhearra s a fhuair e fear an 
taigh'-osda, thachair dha gu'n dubhairt e facal no dha o ? n do 
thuig fear an taigh'-osda gu'n robh deannan math airgid anns 
an sporran aige. 'n a bha e car sgith an deis na rinn e de 
choiseachd fad an latha, chaidh e laidhe mu thrath suipearach. 

Thachair gu'n robh nighean bg, dhreachar, air mhuinntireas 
anns an taigh-osda aig an am. Cha b' ann a ghnath mhuinntir 
an aite a bha i idir. An am dhi bhith 'frithealadh do 'n bhord, 
an uair a bha n duine bg agus fear an taighe aig am biadh 
comhladh anns an t-sebmar, chuala i cuid mhath de n chomhradh 
a bh' eatorra. Thuig i nach b' e mhain gu'm buineadh e do n 
chuid sin de 'n diithaich as an d' thainig i fhein, ach gu'n robh 
e mar an ceudna daimheil dhi a thaobh a mathar. Thug so 
oirre gu'n robh barsachd meas aice air na bhiodh aice air 
coigreach eile a bhiodh a' gabhail an rathaid. 'n a bha e 'na 
dhuine bg, aoidheil, eireachdail, cha b' urrainn i gun tlachd a 

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Seana Bheachdan agus Seana Chleachdaidhean. 375 

ghabhail dheth. Cha robh e 'dol tiotadh bhar a smaointean, 
agus air an aobhar sin, rinn i dichuimhn' air ni no dha a 
dheanamh a bha coir aice a dheanamh mu'n deachaidh i laidhe. 
Air eagal gu'm biodh a maighstir ag iomachain oirre anns a' 
mhadainn air son nach d' rinn i a gnothach mar a b' abhaist 
'did, dh* eUrich i gu bog, balbh as an leabaidh, agus dh' fheuch 
i ris an obair a dheanamh gun an solus a lasadh. An uair a 
chuir i crioch air aon obair a bh' aice ri dheanamh, shuidh i 
air furm a gharadh a cas aig an teine. Cha robh i fada 'na 
suidhe an uair a chuala i monobur bruidhne aig cul an taighe. 
Chuir i a cluas ri claisneachd, agus dh' aithnich i guth a 
maighstir. Thug i eirigh aisde gus a dhol do 'n leabaidh; ach 
anns an am, chuala i farum chas a' tighinn thun an doruis. O 
nach robh toil aice gu'n glacadh a maighstir air a cois i; an 
aite dhol do 'n t-seomar anns am b' abhaist di a bhith cadal, 
leum i steach do 'n chlosaid a bha fo bhonn na staidhreach. 
Thainig a maighstir agus fear eile steach, agus chaidh iad do'n 
t-seomar. O'na bha iad a' smaointean nach robh neach air a 
chois 's an taigh aig an am, cha do dhruid iad dorus an 
t-sebmair idir. Ged a bha iad a' bruidhinn ri 'cheile gle iosal, 
chuala i a' chuid bu mho dhe na thuirt iad ri 'cheile. Ghabh 
i uamhas an uair a thuig i, gu'n robh 'n am beachd an t-airgiod 
a bh' aig an duine 6g a thoirt uaithe, an uair a bhiodh e 'dol 
troimh bhad tiugh coille, a bha mu choig mile o 'n taigh-osda. 
An uair a bha iad greis mhath a' comhradh mu'n chuis chaidh 
iad le cheile am mach as an taigh. Cha bu luaithe a chaidh 
iad am mach na chaidh ise do 'n t-seomar aice fhein. Ach 
chuir na chuala i a leithid a dh' uamhas 's de dhragh inntinn 
oirre 's nach d' rinn i norradh cadail ach a' smaointean air a' 
chunnart anns an robh an duine 6g, agus gun fhios aige fhein 
air. Mar a b' fhaide a bha i a' smaoineachadh air a' chuis, is 
ann bu mho a bha i 'faicinn gu'm b' e a dleasdanas a chur 'na 
fhaireachadh air aon doigh no doigh eile. 'n a bha i gu 
nadarra ciuin, diuid, banail, cha leigeadh an naire leatha guth 
a radh ris. Agus ged a dh' innseadh i dha gu'n robh e ann an 
cunnart a chuid de 'n t-saoghal, agus, ma dh' fhaoidte, a 
bheatha, 'chaU ; bha eagal oirre nach creideadh e i, gu h-araidh o 
nach robh aithne no eblas aige oirre. An uair a bha i mar so a' 
dol fo 'smaointean feuch ciod bu choir dhi 'dheanamh, 
chuimhnich i gu'n d' thug i bbidean d'a maighstir, nach tugadh i 
guth no iomradh ri duine beb air aon ni a chitheadh no 
'chluhmeadh i anns an taigh fad 's a bhiodh i 'n a sheirbhis. 
'Cha robh barail ro mhath aice roimhe sid air a maighstir, no 
idir air moran de na nithean a bha i 'faicinn muinntir an taighe 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 

376 Gaelic Society of Inverness- 

a' ji^wajnli ; ach gas an oidhcfae "d A cha do thing i gu ro Tntiafli 
c'ar son a dmireadh fo bhoidean i nach imiseadh i do neach 
sam bith aon ni a chitheadh no chhimneadh i. Ma dheireadh 
smaoimch i gu'n cuireadh i col an arain as a cfaionn an uair a 
bhiodh i cor a* bhidh air a* bhord do n duine bg anus a' 
mhadahm. Cha robh ihios aice an toigeadh e dod a bhiodh i 
ciaHachadh. Ach bha i smdhichte gun deanadh i e, o nach 
robh doigh eile aice leis an cuireadh i na fhaireachadh e. 

Anns a' mhada-inn an am a bhith cur a* bhidh air a* bhord 
bha a maighstir anns an t-seomar *s e cath-chomhradh ris an 
dnine 6g. Aoidheil "s mar a bha e ris an oidhche roimhe ski. 
bha e moran na b aoidheile anns a' irihaHainTi ud Chuir so 
dragh mor oirre. Thuig i ni b fhearr na thnig i riamh roimhe. 
nach robh na maighstir ach duine cho euccrach s cho cealgacli 
's a bha bed. An uair a chunnaic i nach robh choltas air gu'n 
rachadh e am mach as an t-seomar gus am faiceadh e am biadli 
gu leir air a chur air a bhord, ghabh i eagal nach b' urrainn 
i an t-aran a chur air beulaobh an duine big anns an doigh bu 
mhath leatha. Is e an rud a rinn i, dh' fhag i ni eiginn de na 
bu choir a bhith air a' bhord gun chur air, gus an d' fhalbh a 
maighstir am mach, an uair a chunnaic e an duine bg a 7 suidhe- 
aig a bhiadh. Cho luath 's a chaidh a maighstir- am mach as 
an t-seomar, thill i steach leis an ni a dh' fhag i gun. chur air a 
bheulaobh, agus thionndaidh i an t-aran a bh' air an trinnsear. 
Sheall an duine bg oirre gu dur an clar an aodainn. Sheall ise 
airsan. Agus an uair a thuig i gu'n robh e 'dol a chur ceisd 
oirre mu thimchioll an ni a rinn i, chrath i a ceann, agus chuir 
i a meoir air a beul, sl ciallachadh gum bu ghlice dhaibh le 
cheile gun aon fhacal a radh. 

Gu fortanach thuig an duine bg gun robh e air a chuart- 
achadh le cunnart mor. An uair a ghabh e na thainig ris de n 
bhiadh, agus a phaigh e na fhuair e anns an taigh-bsda, dh' 
fhalbh e. Gu sgeula goirid a dheanamh dheth, faodar a radh, 
gu'n d' rainig e ceann a thuruis gu sabhailte. Ach bha e 
soilleir dha mu'n deachaidh e troimh 'n choille, gu'n robh e air 
na bh' aige a dh' airgiod a chall, agus ma dh' fhaoidte, a 
bheatha, mur b' e gu'n do chuir an nighean bg 'na fhaireachadh 
e, an uair a chuir i cul an arain os a chionn air an trinnsear. 

Bha e air a lan-chreidsinn 's an am a dh' fhalbh — agus tha 
fhathast ann an iomadh aite — nan tuiteadh fear aig tiodhlacadh 
an am dha 'bhith fo 'n ghiulan, gu'm b' e a' cheud fhear de na 
bhiodh aig an tiodhlacadh a gheibheadh bas. Saoilidh daoine 
air an latha 'n diugh gur beachd anabarrach faoin am beachd 
so. Ach an uair a bheir sinn fa 'near cho feumail 's a bha e 's 

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Seana Bheachdan agus Seana Chleachaidhean. 377 

an am a dh' fhalbh, tuigidh sinn nach b' ann a chum saobh- 
chreideamh agus amaideas a chumail suas a chuireadh air tus 
air a chois e, ach a chum bacadh a ohur air nithean a bha olc 
agus mi-iomchuidh. 

Anns an am a dh/ fhalbh, b' ainneamh aite anns an robh 
rathaidean mora. Agus am beagan rathaidean a bh' ann£ an. 
duthaich, cha robh iad ach gle neo-chomhnard. O nach robh 
feum mor air rathaidean matha, cha 'n fhacas iomchuidh moran 
saoithreach a ghabhail riutha. Gu math trie, an uair a bhiodh 
tiodhlacadh ann, bu ghnath le daoine a bhith falbh leis a' 
ghiulan aireamh mhiltean do 'n chladh anns an robh cuid de na 
cairdean a bha marbh, air an tiodhlacadh. Agus mar bu tiice 
dh' fheumadh iad a bhith 'dol tarsuinn sleibhe is monaidh is 
garbhlaich. Ach ged a bhiodh deadh rathad mor aca fad an 
t-siubhail a dh' ionnsuidh a' chlaidh, b' fhearr le daoine an 
rathad aithghearr a ghabhail na 'n rathad mor a leantuinn. 

A nis, nam buaileadh tuisleadh ann an cois fir an uair a 
bhiodh e fo 'n ghiulan a' dol tarsuinn monaidh no garbhlaich, 
agus gu'n tuiteadh e, dh' fhaoidteadh bhith cinnteach gum 
bristeadh aon no dha dhe na lunnan a bhiodh fo n chiste- 
laidhe. Nan tachradh so bhiodh sgiobadh an tiodhlacaidh ann 
an crois, a thaobh nach biodh doigh aca air lunnan fhaotainn a 
chuirteadh ann an aite nam feadhnach a rachadh a bhristeadh. 
Agus air eagal gu'n tigeadh am bas air a h-aon aca ann an uine 
ghoirid, bhiodh iad air an clisgeadh gu'm buaileadh tuisleadh 
'n an cois, agus air an aobhar sin, dh' fhalbhadh iad le ceum 
cinnteach, socrach, leis a' ghiulan. 

Bha e 'ha chleachdadh aig an am ud, mar a tha e ann an 
tomhas beag no mor gus an latha ; n diugh, a bhith 'g 61 cvAd 
mhath de dh' uisge-beatha, araon mu 'n togteadh an giulan, 
agus mar an ceudna an uair a bhiodh iad leitheach rathaid a' 
dol troimh 'n mhonadh, nam biodh an t-astar fada. Am fear 
a dh' bladh barrachd 's sJ choir mu 'm falbhadh e, no am dhaibh 
a bhith leigeadh an analach air an t-shghe thun b! chlaidh, is e 
bu dbcha tuisleachadh agus tuiteam. Faodar a thuigsinn uaithe 
so gu'n robh iomadh fear a bha deidheil air an 61, mar a bha 
's a tha iomadh fear, a' cur stamhnaidh air fhein, air eagal, le 
Ian na slige a bharrachd a ghabhail, gu'n tuislicheadh a chas, 
agus gu'n tuiteadh e an am dha bhith fo 'n ghiulan. 

Feumaidh sinn a chumail 'n ar cuimhne, an am a bhith 
'labhairt 's a' sgriobhadh 's a' leughadh mu na seana bheachdan 
's na seana chleachdaidhean a bh' air an aithris 's air an creid- 
sinn am measg an t-sluaigh 's an am a dh' fhalbh, nach robh a r 
bhrigh agus an teagasg a bh' air am fiUeadh a steach annta air 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 

378 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

an tuigsinn leis a' mhuinntir dig idir; nan robh, faodar a bhith 
•cinnteach nach gabhadh iad moran suim dhiubh. Mar bu 
trice, b' e oeagan de sheann daoine bu ghlice 's bu turaile a 
bh' anns an duthaich, a bhicxih a' teagasg agus a' comh- 
airleachadh an t-siuaigh. Bha fhios aig na daoine glice so 
gu'n robh. feum aig an oigridh air iomadh teagasg fhaotainn a 
thaobh mar bu choir dhaibh an dleasdanais a dheanamh araon 
dhaibh fhein agus do mhuinntir eile. Agus air dhaibh tomhas 
mor a dh' eolas a bhith aca air gne agus iarrtus dhaoine, bha 
fhios aca gu'n robh e nadarra do na h-uile an ni a chuireadh 
ann an cunnart iad a sheachnadh, agus an ni a chumadh o gach 
<;unnart agus mi-fhortan iad a leantuinn. Air an aobhar sin, 
chuir iad an geill moran de nithean do na daoine oga a bha beb 
ri 'n latha 's ri 'n linn fhein, do nach toir sinne geill sam bith 
air an latha 'n diugh. Ach cha 'n fhaod sinne a radh gu'n robh 
na beachdan agus na cleachdaidhean a theagaisg iad cearr nan 
latha fhein ; agus cha mho na sin a their sinn e, mar bheir sinn 
fa 'near, le aire agus le curam, stad an t-sluaigh 's an am ud, 
agus an ni a bh' anns an amharc aig na seann daoine glice a 
T>ha 'g an teagasg. 

Ains na Hnntean a chaidh seachad bha e 'na chleachdadh 
cumanta am measg an t-sluaigh a bhith 'liubhairt draid-mhol- 
aidh aig bruaich na h-uaghach, an uair a chuirteadh a' chiste- 
laidhe anns an uaigh, agus mu 'n cuirteadh an uir oirre. Mar 
bu trice cha bhiodh e duilich daoine a mholadh; oir is 
ainneamh a gheibhear duine aig am sam bith anns nach 'eil ni 
math air choireiginn air son am faodar a mholadh. Na daoine 
nach fhaigh a' bheag de mholadh am feadh 's a tha iad beo, 
nithear moladh gu lebr orra an uair a gheibh iad bas. Mar. a 
tha 'n sean-fhacal ag radh, " Ma 's math leat do mholadh faigh 
l>as : ma 's math leat do chaineadh pos." 

Is fhad' o 'n a chaidh an cleachdadh so a fasan, agus tha sin 
cho math. 

Cho fad 's is fhiosrach mi, is ann am Barraidh a rinneadh 
an oraid-mholaidh mu dheireadh aig bruaich na h-uaghach. So 
agaibh an sgeul mar a chuala mise e : — 

Thachair gu'n plo dh' eug duine araidh air nach robh, a reir 
choltais, meas sam bith aig sluagh an eilean. Latha 'n 
tiodhlacaidh an uair a rainig sgiobadh an tiodhlacaidh an 
cladh, agus a chaireadh a' chiste 's an uaigh, sheas na 
3 daoine mu-thimchioll na h-uaghach gus an cluinneadh iad an 
oraid-mholaidh. A nis, cha 'n fhaodadh aon seach aon de 'n 
luchd-daimH facal a radh ; oir cha robh e air a mheas aig an am, 
gu'm bu mholadh air duine marbh am moladh a dheanadh a 

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The Sources of Scottish Gaelic. 379 

dhliith-chairdean 's a luchd-daimh air. Air an aobhar sin, V 
ann aig aon de na coimhearsnaich, no de 'n hichd-eolais, a bha. 
ris an braid a dheanamh. Bha na daoine gu leir 'nan seasamh 
aig an uaigh, agus iad a' feitheamh le mor-ioghnadh feuch oo 
aige bhiodh de mhisnich na mholadh fear an deigh a bhais air 
nach d' rinneadh a* bheag de mholadh riamh re a bheatha. Ach 
cha robh duine seach duine de na bha lathair a! gluasad as a' 
bhad an robh e 'na sheasamh. Ged nach robh duine a' fosgladh 
a bheoil, bha 'n sluagh a bha lathair gu leir a' faireachadh gu'n 
robh Ian am an gnothach a chur an dara taobh. Bha fhios aca 
gu'n cuireadh e dragh mor air dluth-chairdean an duine nan 
cuirteadh fo 'n talamh e gun a' bheag no mhbr de mholadh a 
dheanamh air. Mu dheireadh thall, an uair a bha na daoine 
air thuar am foighidinn a chall buileach glan, thug duine tap- 
aidh de na bha s a' chuideachd ceum no dha air aghart, agus 
sheas e aig casan na h-uaghach, agus thuirt e : — " Fheara, sin 
agaibh a nis an aon smocair a b' fhearr a bha riamh 's an 

22nd APRIL, 1897. 

At the meeting this evening, Mr A. Macbain, M.A., read a 
paper, contributed by Mr J. L. Robertson, H.M.I.S., entitled 
" The Sources of Scottish Gaelic." The paper is a translation 
of Section C. of the article " Keltische Sprachen," by Windisch, 
in Ersch and Grober's Encyclopaedia (pp. 158 et seq.). 


According to Irish tradition — and the position is also 
accepted by Scottish scholars* — the permanent settlement of the 
Dalriad branch of the Scots took effect in Argyle at the begin- 
ning of the sixth century a.d. In the year 563 Saint Columba 
came to Scotland to evangelise the Picts, and the monastery of 
Iona, which was founded soon thereafter, became, both for 
Picts and Scots, the great centre of Christian enlightenment. 
So far as Scottish Gaelic is concerned, the oldest original is the 
Book of Deir (an abbey in Buchan). This document, which is 
now preserved in the Public Library at Cambridge, is a religi- 
ous manuscript of the ninth century, and its prime value to 
Keltology lies in six entries (fol. 2-4) referring to matters of 

* e.g. Skene. " Book of the Dean of Lismore " (pp. 23 et seq). 

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380 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

local interest. This Gaelic section was first edited by Wh. 
Stokes, with a translation and analysis (Goidilica, pp. 47 : 
2nd ed., pp. 105 et seq.\ and under the latter reference he 
makes mention of a complete edition of the whole manuscript, 
with facsimiles, by Stuart, Edinburgh, 1869. At the end of the 
document stands a sentence of the old scribe's, the language of 
which proves either that the manuscript is of real Irish origin 
or that the Gaelic written language of Scotland in the ninth 
century was as yet in no respect different from the Irish. 
Probably, indeed, the old document was written by an Irishman. 
It is otherwise, however, in the case of the later entries — those 
which are relegated to the llth-12th century. Here, the mode 
of expression, the words, and the forms are as we find them in 
Irish, but the style of the writing reveals already a more marked 
phonetic deterioration, whether it be that the Scottish Gaelic 
actually suffered more from " wear and tear," or only that the 
style of writing became less antique, and adapted itself more 
closely to the pronunciation of the time. 

In vain do we search in Scotland in the olden days for such 
a prolific literary activity as we found * in the case of Ireland. 
We merely note the fact here, without being able to discuss the 
causes. In ancient Scotland there is no evidence of a native 
ecclesiastical literature in the Gaelic language, nor is there any 
trace of the written preservation of old legal maxims or of 
popular tales. Indeed, it '- noteworthy that a Gaelic Life of 
Columba, the apostle of the Scots, is found, not in a Scottish, 
but in an old Irish, manuscript. It is certainly the case that 
there is a collection of Gaelic manuscripts in the Advocates' 
Library in Edinburgh, but, with a solitary important exception, 
all the older of these documents appear to be of Irish origin, t 
All the same, I do not maintain that the people had not, in the 
form of oral transmission, their mythic tales and legends, and 
especially their folk songs. This is the case in the present day, 
and many tales have, both in this and the preceding century, 
been committed to writing from the oral recitation of the people, 
though of earlier records of this kind there are only very few 
extant. The most celebrated is that known by the name of 
the " Book of the Dean of Lismore" — or, as it is styled in the 
manuscript itself, "Liber Domini Jacobi Macgregor Decani 
Lismoren." It contains, within the compass of 311 pages, a 
collection of poems gathered* in the Highlands by James Mac- 
gregor and his brother Duncan, about the year 1512. Lismore- 

Prof. Windisch here refers to his previous section on purely Irish Literature 
t V. articles by Gaidoz, Rev. Celt. VI., pp. 112 el seq. 

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The Sources of Scottish Gaelic. 381 

is in Argyllshire. The greater part of this manuscript has been 
edited by Thomas M'Lauchlan and W. F. Skene, Edinburgh, 
1862 — the former giving the text and English translation, and 
the latter the introduction — and its linguistic value consists in 
the fact that, contrary to the Irish practice, but like the Manx 
and Welsh, the style of the writing is more phonetic. 

On the other hand, in respect of the contents of the docu- 
ment, it is important inasmuch as it is the oldest Scottish source 
of the so-called Ossianic poems. My own opinion, already 
expressed in my " Irische Texte" (pp. 152), is to the effect that 
all these poems, along with the mythical tales which they 
incorporate, are of Irish genesis; and I decidedly do not believe 
that they were brought in this form from their earlier home by 
the Scots, K/ut rather do I hold that many poems, to judge from 
their whole composition, must have come over from Ireland only 
in the latter centuries, either by oral or written transmission. 

A poet Ossian (or better " Ossin," as the name is found in 
Irish and the " Book of the Dean of Lismore") there never was. 
How Ossian came to be regarded as a poet I have tried to 
explain in my essay on the " Irish Saga and the Ossianic Ques- 
tion." According to this myth, Ossin, the son of Finn, was 
one of the few who survived the fight at Gabra, 284 a.d. In 
this battle the King of Ireland annihilated the might of the 
overbearing Feinne, among whose leaders were Ossin, and, in 
earlier days, also Finn and his father, Cumall; and the battle, 
at the same time, brought to a close the ancient military 
splendour of Ireland Now, in the legend, Ossin, as a gray, old 
sage, is made a contemporary of St Patrick, and from this there 
resulted in Ireland a special type of literary treatment, consist- 
ing of dialogues between Ossin and the Saint. The latter wishes 
to convert Ossin, but he constantly harps upon the glory of the 
days of yore. This it happens that Ossin became the reciter 
of the tales, and, by a further step, the author of the poems. 
And here again another point emerges. The oldest Ossianic 
poems, alike in Irish manuscripts and in the Book of the 
Dean of Lismore, are not of considerable length, and they 
have a definite subject, and resemble in general character the 
extant poems embodied in the early Irish mythical tales. These 
poems are either dialogues between the persons in the legend, 
or alleged rehearsals by one of these persons of the contents of 
the legend, if indeed it be not simply prefaced that the bard 
sang the following or composed -the following song. In the 
" Book of Leinster" such poems are found quite isolated and 
free from the fuller details of the saga, and merely 

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382 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

with the superscription, " Ossin cecinit," " Finn mac Cumaill 
cecinit," etc., this " cecinit" being here just the Latin version of 
the early Irish cechuin or cachain of the myth. These 
expressions were, however, in the course of time taken Uterally, 
especially in Scotland, and thus it is that in the " Book of the 
Dean of Lismore" the words " Auctor hujus Ossin" occur in the 
titles of the metrical passages. Originally, then, Ossin was 
merely a primeval hero, who in the legend is made to recite the 
poems of nameless bards. Similarly in the case of other heroes 
of the early days ; but Ossian alone stands forth as a poet from 
this mode of treatment, because he, as the last representative of 
the ancient time, is specially brought in contact with St Patrick, 
the apostle of the new Christian era. St Patrick is not men- 
tioned in all the poems, but when not, they are, it is often 
noticed, addressed to an ecclesiastic. In the older poems, and 
in those of the " Book of the Dean of Lismore," Ossin recounts 
only events of his own day, and of which he was a witness; 
and it was not until the appearance of Macpherson's Ossianic 
poems that that medley of different legend cycles was detected 
which has been urged by the Irish as a main argument against 
the authenticity of his poems. 

A very meritorious compilation of Gaelic legendary tales in 
Scotland is Leabhar na Feinne (Vnl. I., Gaelic Texts), 
" Heroic Ballads collected in Scotland chiefly from 1512-1871, 
arranged by J. F. Campbell, London, 1872," and published by 
the editor himself. Assuredly the most, if not all, of the col- 
lections of Gaelic texts in Scotland are here made available, and 
we note that the very earliest manuscripts, next to the " Book of 
the Dean of Lismore," date from the years 1603 and 1690, that 
they are written in Irish script character, and that the scribes, 
although Scots, were indebted to the Irish even for the matter of 
the documents, as well as for the style of handwriting. The 
Scottish Gaels sprang from Ireland, and so far at least as the 
early myths are concerned, remained Irish. Very indicative of 
this connexion with the ancestral land is the name 
"Erse," by which the English distinguish the Scottish 
Gaels and their language.. " ' Erse/ says Campbell,* " is a local 
pronunciation of the word * Irish/ " English " Inglis" and 
Irish " Erise" are in mediaeval times direct contraries in the 
language of Scotland. The Scots called themselves Albanaichy 
and Skene (v. " Book of the Dean of Lismore," p. xiii.) speaks 
of a battle in the twelfth century in which the rallying cry of 

* l.c. p. xxiv., col. 2. 

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The Sources of Scottish Gaelic. 383. 

the Highlanders was " Albany, Albany," the English responding 
with " Yry, Yry" — " a term of great reproach at that time." 

Campbell gives (on pp. xxxv. et seq.) a survey of the con- 
tents of the documents contained in the various collections, and 
made public mainly by himself. Our remarks thereon can only 
be quite cursory, for there does not yet exist any critically 
comparative investigation of the contents. But, here again, we 
meet some of the very Oldest of the Irish mythical tales, e.g., 
various texts bearing on " Cuchulinn," the story of " Deirdre," 
of " Fraech," and, pre-eminently, the adventures of " Finn/' 
" Ossin," and other Irish " worthies" of that day. We are struck, 
however, by the very marked intrusion of the Norse element into 
the old Gaelic legends, and tlfis intermixture is not alone, and 
not first, special to Macpherson's poems, for we come upon it in 
the texts which claim to have been put in writing between 1750 
and 1760. So far as my observation goes, Finn, Ossin, and, 
only rightly, also the heroes of the older mythic cycle, are con- 
stantly regarded as Irish, and the scene of the action is pre- 
dominantly Ireland. The Scottish myth has, therefore, so far 
been faithful to the original, but never in the older Irish 
originals are incursions of *he Norse or entanglements with them 
misplaced into the epoch of Finn, i.e., the third century a.d. 
But although this anachronistic conjunction of events is worse 
than the bardic invention that Ossin lived to see the beginning 
of the Christian era, and had personal communication with St 
Patrick, yet it is an invention of a cognate kind. Whether it 
can be ascribed to Scotland or to Ireland we may refrain from 
discussing, but at all events it is a reminiscence of the invasions